No Timmy, no problem. For the second straight game San Antonio was without the services of Tim Duncan, and for the second straight game his teammates found a way to claim a victory. Looking to make up for their blowout loss at home to the Spurs a week ago, the Timberwolves fought and kept it close all night but couldn't quite get over the hump as the Silver and Black pulled out a scrappy 101-95 win to extend their franchise-best home start to 18-0. Six Spurs were in double figures tonight led by Kawhi Leonard's 17 points and 11 rebounds. Boban also pitched in 17, Manu 13, Tony Parker 12, while Patty and David West had 11 apiece.
The Spurs could not get shots to fall early nor force any stops, resulting in a 18-6 hole in the first 5 minutes. Fortunately the bench played some inspired ball and cut the deficit to just 1 by the end of the first quarter. Boban Marjanovic and a rested Manu Ginobili led the second unit with a combo of standing dunks and deadly 3-point shooting. David West made a second straight start in place of Timmy and all he did in the first half was score 11 points (4-5 FG, 3-3 FT) and throw down a ferocious two-handed slam. A case could be made that so far West is the paying the biggest dividends out of all the new Spurs. Key words: "a case" and "so far." Despite these valiant efforts, 9 first half turnovers left the good guys trailing 52-50 at halftime.
Gregg Popovich was ejected with 1:13 left in the second quarter. Pop, who seemingly took exception to a no-call on Kevin Garnett's physical defense on LaMarcus Aldridge, walked on to the court to berate an official. He was promptly given two technicals and tossed. Spurs assistant Ettore Messina stepped in as head coach. Genius move by Pop to rest both Timmy and himself tonight. Gotta stay fresh for the playoffs.
What transpired in the third quarter can only be described as the dawn of the Boban Marjanovic Era in San Antonio. As if his 8 first half points were not enough, The Serbian Giant scored 9 points in the frame as fans proceeded to blow the roof off the AT&T Center. When Boban took a seat at the start of the fourth quarter, he exited the game with 17 points (7-7 FG, 3-4 FT), 4 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal in 15 minutes. The new Big 3 of Kawhi-Aldridge-Boban has the potential to become the greatest triumvirate in the history of sports. You heard it here first. On the heels of the Bobinator's detonation, the Silver and Black held a 76-72 lead going into the final quarter.
The Spurs, who played most of the game without a significant lead, put their foot on the gas to start the fourth and played with a 5-10 point cushion for the bulk of the quarter. The Timberwolves, led by young guns Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns, played hard all night and made it a 98-94 game with under a minute left, but it was too little too late. Tony Parker hit a few clutch free throws down the stretch to finally put the game out of reach. No Boban in the fourth, no Pop in the second half, and no Timmy for the entire game but somehow the Spurs still find ways to keep winning. Outstanding effort from Minnesota tonight. Better execution by the good guys. Great team win.
This beautiful alley-oop in the waning seconds of the third quarter was peak-Boban. The crowd went nuts. I went nuts. SpursNation went nuts. We got a fever...and the only prescription is more Boban!
DAVID WEST SMASH
Not enough love has been given to this man throughout SpursNation circles, but it's time we change that. Holy slam.