Two teams moving in different directions will square off Wednesday when the San Antonio Spurs travel to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves in the Twin Cities.
The surprise is that the Timberwolves (6-4) will carry the better record and more momentum into Wednesday’s contest after winning two of their past three games, including a 120-114 victory on the road Monday over Detroit.
Andrew Wiggins scored 33 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 25 points for Minnesota in the win, which snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Pistons.
“Every good thing that happens to Andrew, Andrew deserves, because Andrew does work hard,” Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said. “He had a different mindset this summer. We had a conversation, so all the credit goes to him for buying in and really delivering for us.”
After making just 6 of 45 3-point shots in a home overtime loss to Denver on Sunday, the Timberwolves were on fire from long range early on in Monday’s game, hitting 8 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first quarter to take a 15-point lead that the Pistons never overcame.
Jake Layman made four 3-pointers and added 16 points for Minnesota. The Timberwolves ended up 15 of 34 from 3-point range.
“I have been getting great shots every game,” Layman said. “Some games they haven’t been falling, but it’s all great looks all around our offense. So, I’m going to keep doing the same thing.”
Minnesota played without point guard Jeff Teague (illness) and guard Shabazz Napier (right hamstring strain) in the win. Both should be available for the San Antonio game.
Not even the anticipation of the jersey number retirement of former star Tony Parker could pull the Spurs out of their doldrums on Monday, when they fell 113-109 to Memphis in a game that the Grizzlies controlled throughout.
“Well, you know, it’s a 48-minute game and we’re not executing or competing enough for the 48 minutes,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “A little spotty in and out. So we’ve got to be more consistent in our play, competitive-wise and execution-wise. You just keep going. You just keep playing. There is no magic formula.”
The loss to Memphis was the second in a row at home and the fourth in five games overall for San Antonio (5-5), which struggled with consistency once again.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay led the Spurs’ scoring with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Derrick White (15), Bryn Forbes (14) and DeMar DeRozan (12) rounded out San Antonio’s double-figure scoring.
“We need a win,” said Gay, who led San Antonio with eight rebounds. “One win. Get this taste out of our mouth. Just takes one. We have to flush these down the toilet. These are over. We can’t get it back. The more we win, the more we forget.”
San Antonio owns an 89-30 all-time series lead on the Timberwolves. The Spurs have won the season series against Minnesota 22 times in 30 seasons, including the last six.
The Spurs do have a piece of history at Minnesota. The now-retired Parker holds the record for most points in one game in Target Center history (55) on Nov. 5, 2008 in a double-overtime Spurs win. He also has the most field goals in the building’s history with 22 in the same game.
–Field Level Media