OAKLAND – The quest to sharpen every tool in the drawer prior to the playoffs continues for the Warriors on Saturday night at Oracle Arena.
The visiting Minnesota Timberwolves aren't exactly a good preview for what’s to come next weekend.
The Warriors (64-15) own the best record in the league and a roster with multiple players up for individual awards. They've dominated the Western Conference, particularly in Oakland, where their 36-2 home record is the best in the NBA.
The Timberwolves (16-63) have lost nine in a row and once again are on a slow boat to the draft lottery. Meanwhile, a slew of injuries have left coach Flip Saunders with a downright skeletal roster.
And if you're hoping for a final glimpse of Kevin Garnett, good luck. He has missed the last 16 games with a sore left knee.
Warriors by 20.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Harrison Barnes vs. Andrew Wiggins: There is a level of intrigue as both were top-three recruits coming out of high school. Wiggins is playing well and constantly expanding his game. It's a good test for Barnes, who alternates between dazzling and disappearing.
Klay Thompson vs. Kevin Martin: Martin is the only other healthy starter for Minny, and he's probably good with that. Hey, more shots for Kev! Thompson remembers Martin was offered to the Warriors during the Kevin Love talks that died when the Dubs wouldn't part with . . . Klay Thompson.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Stay healthy: This matchup amounts to a glorified scrimmage. The primary goal for the Warriors is to get through it without injury to their rotation players.
2) Start fast: The Timberwolves are hurting and reeling. If the Warriors jump them early, the starters can spend most of the second half watching from the bench.
3) Respect the game: If the Warriors are careless, turnovers could follow. That's one way to allow these dreadful Wolves to believe they have a chance to win.
Warriors 8-2, Timberwolves 1-9.
Warriors: G Leandro Barbosa (tender left Achilles tendon) is listed as out.
Timberwolves: F Kevin Garnett (sore left knee) is listed as doubtful. G Ricky Rubio (sore left ankle), C Gorgui Dieng (concussion), F Anthony Bennett (sprained right ankle), G Gary Neal (sprained left ankle), F Shabazz Muhammad (finger surgery, left hand) and C Nikola Pekovic (R Achilles tendon surgery) are listed as out.
The Warriors have recalled F James Michael McAdoo, who spent Friday with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League.
The Warriors won each of the first three meetings this season, have won four in a row against Minnesota and 17 of the last 20 meetings dating back to 2009.