The San Antonio Spurs dropped the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-100. In fact, they dropped them, punched them in the gut, gave 'em a 'noogie' and spit in their eyes. It was just a pounding from the home team for our TWolves.
The Spurs were able to beat up on the TWolves despite being without their All-Star Tony Parker for the majority of the game. Parker left in the second quarter with tightness in his hamstring. The Wolves were without Nikola Pekovic who returned to the Twin Cities earlier today to have some treatment on his sore ankles. Instead of starting Darko Milicic at center, Adelman elected to start Kevin Love at center and Derrick Williams as his power forward.
The reason behind not starting Darko was that Rick Adelman doesn't like his effort and hasn't kept himself in shape.
The Spurs outscored Minnesota 32-16 in the first quarter that helped jump start their offense, that didn't seem to halt, all night long. The Spurs were up just 9 at halftime 47-56. The Spurs came into the third quarter and were able to push the lead to 22 at one point and ended the quarter up 20; 71-91. The Spurs pulled their starters and the TWolves also played mostly reserves to outscore San Antonio 29-25 for a 100-116 final.
Let's take a look at some of tonight's top performers for each team...
HOT: Minnesota's bench was hot. Tolliver, Ellington & Barea combined for 49pts. This is a bench that Beasley only played 11 minutes and added 4 points (the whole bench then had 53pts) and a bench that was without Derrick Williams who moved into the starting lineup in place of Pekovic. For the Spurs it was Tim Duncan! My goodness, the future Hall-of-Famer dumped in a 21-15 in just 24 minutes.
NOT: Luke Ridnour had an off-night as well as just about every other Timberwolves starter. Luke shot just 1-of-7 from the field and finished with 4pts. Williams had a good chance for a great game, but in 37 minutes, he finished with 9pts, 7rebs on 4-of-12 shooting. For the Spurs, it was Tony Parker. Clearly the injury led to him playing just 10 minutes, shooting 1-for-4 and finishing with 2pts & 6ast.
MISC.: Tiago Splitter grabbed 7rebs, had 4ast and scored 11pts.....Gary Neal filled in for the injured Parker and had those 16pts as well as a rebound, 3ast & 4stls.....Malcolm Lee saw 4 minutes and had a rebound, and an assist.....
KEY MATCHUP(S) RESULTS...
Luke Ridnour vs. Tony Parker: Luke played 25 minutes. Tony played 10 minutes. Ridnour finished with 1 assist. Parker finished with 6 assists. Luke had 4 points. Parker had 2 points. Despite playing 15 less minutes, Parker had the better game! Winner: Parker.
Kevin Love vs. Tim Duncan: Yeah, I thought Kevin Love was going to have a GREAT game, but instead we saw Tim Duncan turn back the clock and in limited playing time absolutely crushed the Wolves and was a key part of this San Antonio victory. Love shot just 5-of-13 from the field. Duncan had more points, rebounds, assists and blocks. Winner: Duncan.
KEY STATS: Minnesota got pounded on the boards--a +15 for the Spurs!! Even without Parker for a full game the Spurs still racked up 29 assists (Ginboli's 8 was the team-high). The Spurs were also able to double the totals of Minnesota in fast break points.
FINAL NOTES: During Ricky's surgery they found damage to his LCL as well as the aforementioned ACL, the surgery was successful, typical recovery time is 6-9 months.......The Spurs will likely sign Patrick Mills and potentially Boris Diaw to rest of the season contracts......The attendance at the AT&T Center was 18,581......The Spurs retired Bruce Bowen's #12 jersey after the game. Bowen was on the NBA All-Defensive team 8 times and started on the Spurs' championship teams in 2003, 2005 & 2007.......
UP NEXT: Friday March 23 @Oklahoma City (tipoff 7pmCT), Sunday March 25 vs. Denver (tipoff 2:30pmCT), Tuesday March 27 @Memphis Grizzlies (tipoff 7pmCT).
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!