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2:38 AM ET

  • Chris HaynesESPN Staff Writer Close

MINNEAPOLIS — In a potential first-round playoff-series matchup at the Target Center on Friday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors went down to the wire.

With a chance to put the Timberwolves up by three with 29 seconds left in the game, Andrew Wiggins missed a pair of free throws, and that left the door wide open for the Warriors to steal one they didn’t deserve.

Stephen Curry, who has been struggling mightily from beyond the arc, nailed a running floater with 19.7 seconds on the clock, giving the Warriors a one-point advantage.

The Timberwolves called a timeout and went right back to Wiggins. The third-year pro drove baseline and drew the foul on Zaza Pachulia at the rim. Pachulia fouled out and Wiggins knocked down both free throws.

With 12.8 seconds remaining and the Timberwolves up one, Golden State called timeout. Out of the break, Curry received the ball on the left wing, and he fumbled it a bit before regathering. He milked some clock then shot a contested jumper over Ricky Rubio that rattled in and out.

Klay Thompson and Brandon Rush fought for the ball, and a jump ball was called with 0.7 seconds left. The ball was tipped out near half court and time expired. Minnesota picked up a much-needed 103-102 victory in front of a franchise-record crowd of 20,412.

Wiggins led Minnesota (27-37) with 24 points.

For the second time this season, the Warriors lost consecutive games. Their NBA-record streak of 146 games without back-to-back defeats was snapped March 2.

The Warriors continue to struggle in the absence of Kevin Durant.

Minnesota is fighting for its postseason life, entering Friday only 2½ games back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Golden State (52-13) failed to bring the intensity from the start.

The Warriors faced a 17-point, second-quarter deficit. The young, energetic Timberwolves unleashed a heavy dosage of Karl-Anthony Towns, who produced 23 points and nine boards. He was a handful as he dominated inside and out. Neither Draymond Green nor Pachulia could slow him down in the first three quarters.

Golden State gave up 62 first-half points on 50 percent shooting. All 11 Warriors players who saw action during the first two quarters had a negative plus-minus mark. That won’t get it done on the road.

Thompson kept his team in the game with an efficient scoring night of 30 points on 12-of-22 from the field. His backcourt mate again didn’t fare so well.

Curry scored 26 points on 10-for-27 shooting and was 1-for-8 from downtown. He has made only 16 of his past 76 3-point attempts. His first triple came with eight minutes left in the third quarter. On that trey, he passed his father, Dell Curry (12,670), for 210th on the all-time scoring list.

The Warriors clawed back into the game, holding the Timberwolves to 15 fourth-quarter points. Towns was held to only one field goal in the decisive frame.

But down the stretch, the Warriors couldn’t get the stops they needed. They’ll head to San Antonio for a Saturday night game, aiming to beat the Spurs and hoping to prevent a season-worst three-game losing streak.

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