Stellar team defense and a monster performance by LaMarcus Aldridge boosted the Spurs to a 117-102 win over the Timberwolves.
The sentiment has been echoed by many in the Spurs locker room: from this point on, every game is a playoff game. With the race for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs in full swing, Saturday’s game against the Timberwolves was especially high-stakes: a win could vault the Spurs into a tie with Minnesota for fifth place. A loss could send the Spurs tumbling back down to the eighth spot. Over the last week, San Antonio managed to put together a two game win streak with victories against the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday night and the Orlando Magic before that, and did their best Saturday night to keep the streak alive.
The first quarter was not good. After opening the game with a three-pointer by Danny Green, the Spurs struggled to find their shot. However, San Antonio was able to close the quarter on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to one point at 24-23. In the second quarter, LaMarcus Aldridge found his rhythm and scored 18 against a Timberwolves defense that couldn’t contain him in the post or on the perimeter. Aldridge’s outburst and rock-solid defense in the key allowed the Spurs to outscore the Timberwolves 38-26 in the second half and take an 11-point lead into halftime.
The Spurs strong play continued in the third quarter, but Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Tyus Jones matched it shot for shot and the Timberwolves were able to hold the deficit. In the fourth quarter, however, the Spurs overpowered the Timberwolves for the victory. Rudy Gay provided a spark off the bench, notching key blocks, rebounds, and a scoring punch to help the Spurs extend the lead to 15, and Aldridge continued to dominate Minnesota from all over the court en route to a 117-101 victory.
Aldridge finished the night with 39 points and added 10 rebounds in a dominant performance. Rudy Gay added 14 off the bench, including 6 points in the final quarter. For the Timberwolves, Towns scored 23 points and Wiggins added 21 in the losing effort. The Spurs defense forced 15 turnovers in the victory.
The Silver and Black will take a three-game winning streak into Golden State Monday night to take on the Warriors. Gametime is 8:30 PM CST.