The Spurs, coming off a win over the Trail Blazers, were hoping to carry their momentum and put up a fight against a contender after their blowout loss to the Thunder. They not only accomplished that for the third time in as many matchups against the same elite opponent, but they also secured the win this time with a successful comeback in the fourth quarter. Victor Wembanyama and Devin Vassell led the charge for the Spurs with 23 and 25 points, respectively, while Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert combined for 70 for the Wolves.
It was a close game throughout, as Minnesota grabbed a quick double-digit lead but couldn’t really get more separation as the minutes passed. At the half, the visitors were ahead by 12 but looked vulnerable. The Spurs bid their time before eventually retaking the lead. It was an exciting matchup in the fourth quarter, as both teams traded buckets and leads. In the end, San Antonio outscored their opponent by 11 in the final frame to secure one of their best wins of the season.
- Zach Collins was out for the Spurs and Mike Conley sat out for the Timberwolves. Collins’ ankle injury is not expected to be serious, so he should be back soon. Dominick Barlow did well in his absence against an elite opponent, which was encouraging.
- We had a bat sighting at the Frost Bank Center. Manu Ginobili was in attendance, but after having to go through rabies shots the last time he took one down he didn’t volunteer. Luckily the Coyote was there to to jump into action and catch the bat quickly, preventing a long delay.
- There were plenty of crossmatches to start the game. Karl Anthony Towns guarded Victor Wembanyama, and Gobert was on Sochan. On the other end, Julian Champagnie was on Towns. Victor on Gobert and Sochan on Anthony Edwards. It’s always funny to see players scramble to find their man when so many guys are not guarding whoever guards them.
- Victor Wembanyama got in early foul trouble but asked to stay on the court and didn’t commit his third foul in his first five-minute stint, which he ended with 12 points. As soon as Victor checked out and the second units took the court, the Timberwolves started to dominate the game. From then on, San Antonio was fighting to get back in it the rest of the night. The bench guys did make up for it in the third quarter by holding on, which allowed the Spurs to come back, but those droughts went Victor sits are becoming a problem.
- Most nights, it feels like the Spurs really need a third high-level scorer. Wembanyama is already showing he can be the first option and Devin Vassell could probably be a decent second option. What’s lacking is that third guy. Keldon Johnson keeps showing flashes that suggest he could be that guy, but consistency remains an issue. He really struggled in the first half before coming alive in the second to finish with 14 points on 14 shots. He also was quick to trap Edwards in the final play, which helped secure the win.
- Doug McDermott and Cedi Osman have not been helping their trade value much recently. Against the Wolves, McBuckets salvaged what was looking like another bad performance by hitting his shots in the second half and helping on the best stretch the team played. Cedi continued to struggle, unfortunately.
- In the last 10 games leading up to the matchup with the Timberwolves, Tre Jones shot over 36 percent on three-pointers. Against Minnesota, he hit two of his three attempts. It’s too soon to tell, but if the shooting is real, Jones’ ceiling as a player would be raised.
For the Wolves’ fans’ perspective, visit Canis Hoopus.
The Spurs will be right back in action on Monday to take on the Washington Wizards. Tip-off will be at 7 PM CT on Bally Sports SW.