The Golden State Warriors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 137-114 on Sunday, ending the home team’s five-game winning streak. Here are three key reaction from the Warriors’ impressive win over Minnesota, just their second road victory of the season.

3 key reactions to Warriors’ impressive road win over Timberwolves

Peak first-quarter Warriors

Minnesota entered this game as the league’s third-best first quarter team, sporting a gaudy +12.1 net rating, per NBA.com/stats. Combined with a noon start in the central time zone and the Warriors’ season-long struggles away from Chase Center, it was easy to envision the defending champions falling behind the Timberwolves early on Sunday.

Wrong.

Golden State didn’t just lead by 20 points after the game’s first 12 minutes, but completely decimated one of basketball’s best defenses, racking up 47 points—the third-most they’ve ever scored in the first quarter—on mind-blowing 75% shooting.

It’s not like the Warriors did all of their extensive damage from deep, either. They had 20 paint points in the first quarter, getting multiple transition layups off Timberwolves makes and routinely exploiting mass defensive attention paid to Curry.

Here’s how Andrew Wiggins opened the game against his former team.

Look how quickly Draymond Green makes these decisions as Minnesota traps Curry on the perimeter with Karl-Anthony Towns, resulting in a pair of easy finishes for JaMychal Green.

Minnesota might be uniquely ill-equipped to defend Golden State as long the ball is humming like it’s been the last couple weeks.

Towns is out of his depth moving his feet on the perimeter, and the Timberwolves left Rudy Gobert in drop coverage even as Curry turned around ball screens, ready to launch. It certainly didn’t help Minnesota that Jaden McDaniels, lengthy perimeter stopper, was sidelined due to injury, affording Austin Rivers a spot start.

Still, no defense in the league could’ve contained what the Warriors did in the first quarter offensively. When they’re playing with pace and precision, living up to ideal tenets of “.5 basketball,” Golden State looks as unstoppable as it ever has during the Curry-Kerr era.

Welcome back, Jonathan Kuminga

The Warriors made another rotation change on Sunday. But unlike most lineup tweaks over the first five weeks of the season, this one was born out of individual success as opposed to all-encompassing second unit struggles.

Jonathan Kuminga played a season-high 12 first-half minutes against Minnesota, finishing the second quarter alongside Curry, Wiggins, Draymond and Klay Thompson. Why? The sophomore forward was all over the floor defensively for Golden State, making multiple efforts as an on-ball and help defender that helped juice its transition attack.

Kerr insisted after Friday’s win over the Utah Jazz, when Kuminga went scoreless and didn’t take a single shot in an otherwise encouraging performance, that his offense would come as long as he remained committed and engaged on defense and the glass.

You won’t find a tidier encapsulation of that reality than this sequence from the second quarter.

A more subtle indication of the two-way jolt Kuminga can provide the Warriors came a couple possessions prior.

After switching onto D’Angelo Russell and cutting off his right-handed drive, Kuminga gets fooled by a pump fake. Draymond leaves Gobert to contest Russell’s floater, as Kuminga recovers into the 7’2 Frenchman’s legs to prevent an offensive rebound and get Golden State going the other way.

It doesn’t seem like it at first glance, but the collective work Kuminga and Draymond did on defense paved the way for Jordan Poole’s highlight-reel finish right through the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

He found success within the flow of Golden State’s offense, too, reading and reacting to the game with simple plays that netted his team a pair of layups.

Kuminga has dreams of being an alpha dog scorer, a role he was never going to play for the Warriors in 2022-23. His underwhelming, inefficient play moonlighting as a primary ball handler at Summer League wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of that hopeful future, either.

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There’s a good chance Kuminga never fulfills those personal expectations, but unlike other young forwards with burgeoning ball skills, his physical tools ensure the 20-year-old will always be able to affect the game without sopping up usage and field goal attempts.

Sunday’s game was the most encouraging sign yet that Kuminga has come to terms with that likelihood—for this season, at least.

Hello, second unit 

Golden State stuck with its new second unit for the third straight game. As opposed to their play in wins over the Jazz and LA Clippers, though, success of the Warriors’ bench lineups was marked by much more than not hemorrhaging significant leads until Curry returned to the floor.

This was Kuminga’s best performance of the season by far. Poole looked comfortable from the moment he entered the game, seamlessly mixing his own offense with creating shots for teammates.

Donte DiVincenzo drained four triples and came out of nowhere for a pair of high-flying rebounds. Green held his own when switched onto the perimeter, finishing with power around the rim.

Golden State’s second unit has been stabilized by the addition of Green and Wiggins. The Warriors won’t lose many games as long as that persists and their best players—including Klay Thompson, who put together another efficient shooting night while hitting several timely threes—continue reaching their exalted current levels.

But this team’s championship ceiling depends on impact bench play from multiple reserves, and Golden State finally got it simultaneously in Minneapolis.