SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — James Wiseman hardly felt he had to prove something to the team that didn’t draft him.
The rookie center came off Golden State’s bench to score a career-high 25 points, dazzling opposite No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards in a matchup of last year’s top two draft selections, and the Warriors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 123-111 on Wednesday night.
Edwards, who like Wiseman is just 19, also scored 25 points for his second-highest NBA total.
Wiseman, however, said he wasn’t looking to show anything to the Minnesota brass who chose Edwards instead.
“I really wasn’t motivated by that factor,” Wiseman said.
The big man dunked, knocked down all three of his 3-point tries and shot 9 for 14. He also blocked two shots, not fouling four times while going straight up to utilize his 7-foot frame.
“That was one of my best games defensively,” Wiseman said.
His maturity and impressive learning curve continues to amaze coach Steve Kerr.
“I’ve tried to picture myself at 19 putting up with everything that he’s had to put up with. It’s remarkable,” Kerr said.
Kelly Oubre Jr. had 20 points while playing through foul trouble for Golden State. Stephen Curry added 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds as the Warriors won their ninth straight at home against Minnesota to sweep a two-game series.
Andrew Wiggins delivered a big game Monday against his old Timberwolves team and scored another 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting Wednesday.
Curry struggled with his shot and finished 6 for 17 from the floor and 4 of 11 on 3-pointers after scoring 36 points in Monday night’s 130-108 rout of Minnesota.
The Timberwolves worked to get Curry out of sync but couldn’t do it consistently.
“You can’t just do it sometimes. We’ve got to be an every-possession team,” coach Ryan Saunders said.
For a second straight game, Kerr stuck with his new-look starting lineup featuring veteran big man Kevon Looney — and Wiseman in a reserve role. Looney grabbed a season-best 10 rebounds.
Damion Lee scored a season-best 17 points and hit four 3s to go with three steals.
Edwards had his second game with 20 or more points, shooting 9 for 19 with a season-high five 3-pointers. Malik Beasley also scored 25. Naz Reid added 19 points for Minnesota but went down hard midway through the fourth quarter after blocking a shot by Oubre before returning late.
D’Angelo Russell missed both games against his former team because of a bruised right quadriceps muscle. Russell played 33 games for Golden State last season before the trade last February that brought Wiggins to the Bay Area.
The game was down to two referees after Scott Twardoski got hurt, the Warriors said.
A photo of Sekou Smith and tribute to him was shown on the big screen. The NBA reporter and analyst died Tuesday at age 48 from COVID-19.
Timberwolves: F Ed Davis was ejected with 5:54 left in the second quarter for a flagrant 2 foul on Oubre. … G Jarrett Culver sat out with a sprained left ankle after getting hurt in Monday’s game. … Minnesota hasn’t won on the Warriors’ home floor since a 124-117 overtime victory on April 5, 2016. … C Karl-Anthony Towns missed his sixth straight game after announcing Jan. 15 he tested positive for the coronavirus. The Timberwolves are 2-11 without Towns in the lineup this season.
Warriors: Oubre picked up his second foul just 1:18 into the game and his fourth at the 11:19 mark of the third quarter. He scored 16 points in the second, most for a single quarter in his career. … In Wiggins’ back-to-back games against the T-Wolves, he had 42 points, … The Warriors are 6-2 at home vs. the Western Conference. … On Sunday, second-round pick Nico Mannion, Jordan Poole and Alen Smailagić will head to Orlando for the G League bubble.
Timberwolves: Return home to host the 76ers on Friday night having lost six straight in the series.
Warriors: At Phoenix on Thursday night for a quick trip to the desert before returning home to face the Pistons on Saturday night.
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