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Warriors regroup from 2-game skid, roll past Timberwolves, 110-97

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OAKLAND, California — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr sounded unsatisfied with his team's latest performance, even though it ended in a win that was never in doubt.

Kerr is worried less about results right now and more about the process of building a team that can compete for a championship at the end of the season. Unlike his predecessor, Mark Jackson, Kerr has been quicker to publicly pounce on his players in hopes of motivating them to correct mistakes.

Whether it works later is still to be determined.

The Warriors still looked pretty sharp Saturday night, shaking off a two-game losing streak by rolling past the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, 110-97. There were too many mental lapses for Kerr, though, and he let his players know about it in the locker room.

"I told our guys, 'If we want to win in May and June, we have to play every possession,'" Kerr said. "You just can't completely lose focus and throw the ball where nobody is. Or maybe at a guy with a different color jersey. I was dumbfounded with some of the stuff that I saw. But as I said, a lot of great stuff, too."

Stephen Curry had 25 points and six assists, Klay Thompson added 21 points and four others scored in double digits as the NBA-leading Warriors (24-5) wore down the Timberwolves in the second half.

Golden State led by 27 points early in the fourth quarter and rested many of its regulars in the final minutes.

The Warriors outshot Minnesota just 46.6 to 44.2 percent but had far fewer mistakes than Minnesota. The Timberwolves committed 25 turnovers, while Golden State had just 16.

Players said they heard Kerr's call to strive for perfection — no matter the opponent — and had no qualms about him voicing his concerns publicly.

"We're still growing and we're still getting there. I completely understand where Steve's coming from," Thompson said.

The Wolves would love to have the problems the Warriors do now.

Thaddeus Young finished with 17 points and six rebounds, and Zach LaVine had 12 points and 14 assists in Minnesota's eighth straight loss. The injury-ravaged Wolves (5-24) are in last place in the Western Conference.

PHOTO: Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng holds his leg after being injured during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng holds his leg after being injured during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

"We basically beat ourselves," frustrated Wolves coach Flip Saunders said.

The result was still the way the Warriors wanted to open a six-game home stretch after consecutive losses in Los Angeles to the Clippers and Lakers, and it was just the way they have responded under Kerr at any sign of trouble this season — calm and in control.

The Warriors did it without a true center again as Andrew Bogut (right knee) and backup Festus Ezeli (left ankle) continue to recover from nagging injuries. With a deeper roster and a more talented backcourt, the lack of a big man proved to be no problem against a Minnesota team missing key contributors Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic.

The Warriors never let the Wolves find a groove, spacing the floor with a smaller lineup — starting Marreese Speights at center and bringing David Lee in behind him to keep the rest of the rotation intact.

Golden State pulled away for good by outscoring the Wolves 30-19 in the third quarter when it turned its smothering defense into easy plays on the other end.

"I just think our team has a tendency, at times, to want to put on a show instead of just making the right play," Kerr said. "What they need to understand is making the right play will provide the show."

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Rubio (sprained left ankle) did some light running drills before the game, the 24th in a row he has missed. He has no expected return date. ... Minnesota has lost 16 of the last 19 meetings with Golden State.

Warriors: The Warriors have won nine straight home games, their longest home winning streak since a 10-game stretch in 1994. ... They are 6-0 against the Northwest Division.

SPLASH BROTHERS

Curry poured a cup of water on the head of Thompson during an-court TV interview after the game. Curry said he had no idea why he did it, other than he had a cup in his hand and it seemed like a good idea. Thompson said he'll get back Curry back at some point. "It's a long season," he said.

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: At Utah on Tuesday.

Warriors: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday.

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) shoots between Golden State Warriors guards Klay Thompson, left, and Stephen Curry during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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