The Spurs were missing one of their top scorers and perimeter defenders in the starting lineup with Devin Vassell nursing a sore knee, and the bench was missing one of their leaders with Josh Primo resting a hip he bruised in a hard fall on Monday night. The Timberwolves, still stinging from Monday’s rout, had no mercy as they rained triples from all over the court on the Silver and Black. The Spurs fought their way back to make the score closer in third quarter, but they had no answer for the Timberwolves’ hot shooting, as Minnesota won 134-122, with Anthony Edwards and Jalen Nowell leading the way. The Silver and Black offense was fine tonight, but without Devin Vassell’s perimeter defense, they couldn’t get enough stops late to close the gap and make a run at the game, and the Timberwolves split the series, taking one of two games from the Spurs.
The Wolves started out hot from the three-point line, and Anthony Edwards was much more aggressive as he started out shooting 4-5 on threes. The Spurs rolled out their secret offensive weapon, which Jeremy Sochan hitting his first two triples of the season as Gobert and the Wolves sagged way off him, and kept things pretty even for the first part of the quarter. Hitting 10-13 three pointers in the first quarter give them a lead, but a defensive flurry at the had the Wolves finishing the quarter on an 13-2 run, leading 39-28 after one.
The Spurs turned up the defense in the second quarter, and Minnesota cooled off a bit, and got some nice contributions from unexpected sources, with a nice stretch from Keita Bates-Diop. Both teams got a little out of sorts in the middle of the quarter, and it was a bit of a mess as the bad plays and turnovers abounded, and a physical battle erupted, and the Spurs got the worst of it, trailing 68-53 at the half.
The Timberwolves started off the second half hitting three point shots, but the Silver and Black fought back with a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to single digits. The San Antonio team gritted and grinded their way back into the game with Keldon Johnson carrying the load. The Spurs played really well, but the Wolves’ shooting over 60% on three-point shots blunted the comeback, as the Wolves led 102-94 after three.
Jaylen Nowell took over the game to start the fourth quarter, and the Wolves started to create a cushion as they hit every shot they looked at. The Spurs played a solid quarter, but the insanely hot shooting of the Wolves continued as they kept the Spurs an arm’s length away from making the game competitive.
- Devin Vassell was ruled out early, and Josh Primo was ruled out late, with soreness from his fall in Monday’s game. With two of their key performers out, the Spurs were shorthanded tonight. Josh Richardson was moved to the starting lineup, and they were able to keep pace pretty well, but without Josh coming off the bench, the second unit was really offensively challenged.
- I’ve done two recaps this year, both losses for the Spurs. Maybe I’m bad luck.
- Sochan has been a terror on both ends of the court, but turning back a Gobert shot at the rim is one of the more spectacular defensive plays I’ve seen so far.
- Romeo Langford is a very solid defender one on one, so you can see why he beat our Joe Weiskamp for the last roster spot.
- KAT, Gobert, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell get all of the press for the Timberwolves, but Jaylen Nowell was amazing tonight.
- The Timberwolves didn’t have one offensive rebound tonight, which has never happened in an NBA game. To be fair, with the Timberwolves shooting 65% from the field, there weren’t a whole lot of opportunities.
- Keita Bates-Diop is a player with scoring potential.
For the Timberwolves fans’ perspective, please visit Canis Hoopus.
The Spurs are currently 3-2 and are in 7th place in the west. Playoffs, here we come.