San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: Easy does it

Bryn Forbes of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bryn Forbes of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The San Antonio Spurs made easy work of the Minnesota Timberwolves while bombarding them from beyond-the-arc on the way to an impressive 124-98 victory for their seventh blowout victory in eight games.

29. 98. 86. . 124

The San Antonio Spurs seem to have figured something out.

Coach Gregg Popovich said the team is starting to get used to one another, and it sure feels that way. Aside from that disappointing loss against the Chicago Bulls (in which the Spurs held a 21-point lead in the third quarter), the San Antonio Spurs have been demolishing the competition as everything seems to be coming together.

This game further cemented that notion.

The Spurs came out swinging in this one as they secured an 8-point lead to close the first quarter and had the home announcers talking about resting the starters for the second night of a back-to-back during the second quarter of action.

They went on to make a season-high 19 threes and distribute a season-high 36 assists.

Season-high 19 three's ☑️Season-high 36 assists ☑️Third-straight victory ☑️

Highlights from tonight's win ?

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 22, 2018

Ball movement and lethal marksmanship were essential to the Spurs’ success. This game definitely reminded us of the old Spurs as the defense suffocated Minnesota’s offensive attack. Marco Belinelli is becoming a problem for the opposition as there appears to be no way of stopping him.

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Marco moves so well without the ball, and he’s an expert at getting lost through screens and finding the smallest openings in order to launch the ball leaning towards the basket. It’s hard to watch him play and not think of NBA Jam as they’d proclaim “he’s on fire!” He went on to finish the game with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting off the bench.

Bryn Forbes has been just as hot as Belinelli lately.

As if he was jealous from his teammate’s hot-shooting, Forbes has been on a tear of his own as of late.

Bryn did it all in this one. He led both teams in scoring with 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting (3-of-5 from long distance), dished out 7 assists, corralled 4 rebounds, and even added a block to his stat sheet.

He has grown tremendously since the beginning of the season and is showing that he belongs.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Davis Bertans. How deadly has he become from three-point range?

Bertans simply needs the slightest opening to release the basketball and off it goes with dead-eye accuracy. He scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting (5-of-7 from three).

Final stats ?

Bryn: 22 PTS | 7 ASTMarco: 17 PTS | 6 REBDavis: 15 PTS | 5 REBRudy: 14 PTS | 5 REBDeMar: 12 PTS | 8 ASTJakob: 12 PTS | 6 REBLaMarcus: 10 PTS | 9 REB Derrick: 7 PTS | 4 ASTPatty: 6 PTS | 5 ASTQuincy: 5 PTS | 2 ASTDante: 3 PTS | 3 REBDrew: 1 PTS | 1 REB

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 22, 2018

Opposing teams must respect his jump shot at all times from everywhere after he crosses half court. He’s allowing the Spurs to dominate opposing defenses as he’s creating all kinds of space for DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge to operate. When Bertans plays alongside Belinelli and Patty Mills, there’s little hope for the defense to prevent three-pointers from falling.

Spurs are the second team in NBA history to collect five straight wins by 25-plus points. The first team to do it was the 1971-72 Bucks.

— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) December 22, 2018

The Spurs are enjoying a nice run by winning seven of their last eight games. They’ve won all seven games by a margin of 13 points or more, and five of those games by 25 points or more.

They’re not just winning games, they’re utterly destroying the opposition. As mentioned above, even the one game they lost they held a 21-point lead.

The Timberwolves tried to climb back into the game a few times, but their efforts proved futile. By the fourth quarter the game had been placed out of reach as there is no drop off when the second unit takes the floor, and they’ve often played better than the starters.

Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves in scoring with 15 points. Karl-Anthony Towns and Robert Covington both contributed 13 points for the reeling Timberwolves as they can’t seem to win on the road falling to an abysmal 2-13 record away from the Twin Cities.

The Silver and Black improved to 18-15 for the season. They now have sole possession of the 7th spot in the Western Conference standings, and are only 4.5 games away from the first place Denver Nuggets whom they play a couple of times next week.

Quick @TheAthleticNBA Popovich reaction … on team defense, assists and Forbes’ play #Spurs beat Minnesota

— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) December 22, 2018

Yes, the season is still very young, but these last few games have begun to tell a clear story about this year’s Spurs. If they remain disciplined and continue to play together as a team, they could give some major problems to the best teams in the league.

Marco Belinelli is back on track in December. Next

The San Antonio Spurs won’t have much time to enjoy this victory as they face the Houston Rockets on the road on the second night of a back-to-back tonight at 7:00pm CST.