The Minnesota JV basketball team rolled into the AT&T Center with a sigh. They were 14-50 on the season, and probably more telling, they were 5-26 on the road entering the game. Of course they knew losing was only a matter of minutes away, precisely 48 minutes.
This was, however, the second marquee matchup for Kawhi Leonard in as many games. First it was LeBron, know Andrew Wiggins. He flashed brilliance in both matchups befitting of the reigning Finals MVP. In 37 minutes the soon-to-be Rookie of the Year netted only 13 points and five rebounds. The most impressively bad statistic for the night was Wiggins’ unbelievable plus/minus of negative 32.
On the contrary, the Spurs dominated. After scoring 125 points in the loss to Cleveland, they put in 123 points against the Timberwolves. More importantly, everyone got rest. The starting five played a total of 101 minutes- with Leonard shouldering the highest burden of 25. Danny Green scored an efficient 13 points in 15 minutes behind a three-for-five performance from behind the arc.
The beat-down was so impressive, with 5:19 remaining in the fourth quarter the Spurs were still shooing 60.5% from the field- this is without the starters. There was even a Jeff Ayres sighting.
The unfortunate story of the game was the loss of Manu Ginobili who sprained an ankle in the third quarter. He could not put any weight on the leg, but Spurs’ officials believe he will be back in as soon as 10 days. Tim Duncan took full advantage of an evening without the Wolves’ Kevin Garnett on the court, by inching closer to surpassing his career rebounding total. Duncan finished with six boards, putting him a single rebound behind the eigth leading rebounder in NBA history.