OAKLAND – The Warriors lost the battle of big men, and with it the game against the Timberwolves.
With center Andrew Bogut playing through a strained right knee and power forward David Lee through a sprained left shoulder, the Warriors were unable to contain Minnesota's inside muscle in a 121-120 loss before a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.
After Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin nailed a jumper with 8.4 seconds left, the Warriors had an opportunity to win at the buzzer. Stephen Curry, double-teamed, found Harrison Barnes for a wide open 3-pointer that rattled off the rim.
Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry's game-high 33 points. Curry also added 15 assists. Lee finished with 23 points and seven rebounds. Klay Thompson had 18 point, Andre Iguodala 16 – including two free throws to put the Warriors ahead in the final minute.
This game was lost mostly on the inside, though, where Lee and Bogut were no match for Wolves big men Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. Love finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds, Pekovic with 22 point and 14 boards.
Minnesota took advantage of 17 second-chance points and also outrebounded the Warriors 44-41.
After a 10-game win streak earlier this month, the Warriors have lost four of their last five games.
Curry was the clear star for the Warriors, surpassing 30 points and 10 assists for the sixth time, more than anyone else in the NBA this season.
After Iguodala's free throws put the Warriors ahead, Martin worked open to drill a jumper over the defense of Thompson.
The Warriors ripped off a 10-0 run over the final 2:06 of the third quarter, turning a 91-88 deficit into a 98-91 lead, but were unable to hold it down the stretch.
C Jermaine O'Neal (right wrist surgery) is out but has resumed practicing. C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) is not practicing and remains out indefinitely. G Nemanja Nedovic (strained left hamstring) is out indefinitely.
The Warriors meet the Trail Blazers on Sunday, 6 p.m. tipoff at Oracle. The Warriors won all four games against Portland last season but lost the only previous battle this season, 113-101, on Nov. 23 in Oakland.