The Spurs entered tonight 60-17 as well as 2-0 vs. the Wolves this season. The Wolves walked out of Target Center with their 18th loss and a 2-1 season series record vs. the Wolves.
Tonight's game at the Target Center was the makeup game that got 'smoked out' in Mexico City on account of that faulty, smoking generator.
The Wolves caught a bit of a break not having to face Tony Parker, however it was more than fair considering the Wolves were without Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic, Chase Budinger & Shabazz Muhammad.
Kevin Love returned after a one-game absence with back spasms in Orlando. He finished with another double-double notching 19 points & 12 rebounds to go along with 4 assists and 1 block in 33 minutes of action.
Gorgui Dieng continued his late season 'coming out' party, posting another double-double as the Wolves starting center, finishing with 12 points & 15 rebounds as well as 1 block against future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan (though Timmy certainly took it to Dieng a couple times early in tonight's game).
Most impressive was the play from Ricky Rubio. Rubio has made some strides in the past month offensively. He's been attacking the rim more aggressively and has hit a higher percentage of not only those shots at the rim, but also in his mid-range and three-point game. He led the Wolves tonight with 23 which came on a career-high 10 made field goals in 34 minutes. Rubio has had some great games against the Spurs and while this one certainly doesn't top his triple-double at this time last season, it's very nice to see him finding some offensive consistency.
The Spurs looked much like the listless Wolves team we saw a couple of weeks ago, that appeared to have given up on the season. They've pulled themselves out of that funk recently as they've nabbed 3 wins in their past 4 outings with each win coming against playoff-bound teams (assuming Memphis makes it).
The Spurs couldn't get into any kind of groove on either end of the floor. The Wolves defense was decent, however in all honesty the Spurs just couldn't hit their shots. They didn't do themselves any favors with the way they played defense either. San Antonio truly looked like the team that will be calling it a season in a week!
The Wolves held the Spurs under 35% shooting for the first half and San Antonio couldn't do much to raise that in the second half. They also hit just four three-pointers and hadn't hit any until almost midway through the third quarter. Throw in their carelessness taking care of the basketball and the fact that the Wolves dominated on the glass.
All around, the Wolves simply played harder and were more efficient on both ends of the floor. The Wolves are now one game above .500 on the year and with just five games remaining there's a good chance they could finish with a .500 or better record for the first time since 04-05. Unfortunately, the playoff drought will still hit a decade this summer.
The Wolves are back in action tomorrow night vs. the Chicago Bulls. They're already in town and Tom Thibodeau and his staff were even in attendance at tonight's game. That one will tip at 7pmCST.
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!