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Timberwolves show the world they can compete with the NBA's elite

The Timberwolves impressive preseason continued in the wee hours of the night with a win over Golden State in China
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Jimmy Butler drives past Warriors defenders en route to the hoop in Thursday morning's game.

Jimmy Butler drives past Warriors defenders en route to the hoop in Thursday morning's game.

While most of the state of Minnesota was sleeping in the early hours of Thursday morning, the Timberwolves were squaring off against defending champion Golden State Warriors in China. 

The first of two scheduled games against the Warriors tipped off at 1AM central time. (2PM locally in Shenzhen, China.)

The Chinese market is considered the NBA's second-most important after the United States. 

So it's no wonder the league wanted to feature the Warriors, who have been among the NBA's best teams for a half of a decade – while the Wolves have one of the most talented young rosters in the league.

And the Timberwolves showed precisely why they deserved the invite to Shenzhen after topping the Warriors 111-97 Thursday morning.

Jimmy Butler and Karl Anthony Towns led the Wolves scorers with 16 points each. Andrew Wiggins contributed 14 of his own, including this flush below the basket.

Perhaps the most encouraging stat to come out of this game was the amount of players in double figures. 

Aside from the Wolves' "big three," four additional players scored ten or more points: Taj Gibson (13), Nemanja Bjelica (11), Shabazz Muhammad (10) and Tyus Jones (10).

The Wolves will remain in China for another tilt with Golden State, set to tip off at 6AM central time on Sunday, October 8th.

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