Timberwolves snap 11-game road skid against Spurs, 113-101
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves’ six-year stretch of misery in San Antonio is over.
Andrew Wiggins scored 26 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 14 rebounds and the Timberwolves beat the Spurs 113-101 on Wednesday night, snapping an 11-game skid in San Antonio.
“I know I haven’t won here,” Wiggins said, laughing. “So, when I heard it, I was like, ‘It sounds correct.’ ”
Minnesota’s last victory in San Antonio was April 17, 2013, when Wiggins was a high school senior.
The Timberwolves overcame a charge fueled in large part by second-year player Lonnie Walker IV to hand the Spurs their fifth straight home loss. Walker has received limited playing time this season but the made the most of a season-high 13 minutes.
“Lonnie was fantastic,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “He has kept himself ready and we gave him a shot to play tonight and obviously he was up to the challenge. He did a really good job.”
But it wasn’t enough to stop the Spurs from losing their second straight and 12th in 14 games.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and DeMar DeRozan added 20 for the Spurs (6-13). Walker added 11, all in the second half.
Minnesota had a season-high 18 3-pointers, shooting 45% on 3s. San Antonio was 5 for 29 on 3-pointers in comparison.
“Just getting caught in rotation, not helping the next man,” DeRozan said of the defensive issues. “We’ve got to be there for one another. Guys are too good in the league just to depend on one guy to stop one guy on a team.”
The Timberwolves (10-8) led by as many as 13 points but had to fight off a rally that bridged the third and fourth quarters.
Minnesota was assessed three technical fouls for arguing with officials in a one-minute span in the third quarter. Robert Covington was given the first with 6:48 remaining in the third, followed 48 seconds later by Towns. A third was given to the team’s bench with 5:47 left.
Walker fueled the momentum when he entered with 4:36 to go in the third quarter. Walker sank a 3-pointer and followed with a driving layup to pull San Antonio within 75-72. Walker would score nine points in the quarter on 4-for-5 shooting.
“Just energy,” Walker said. “Doing what Pop tells me to do. Be a defensive stopper, play the best I can and just the run the floor. Just be an energy guy.”
A layup by Walker and consecutive buckets by DeRozan put the Spurs up 92-91 with 5:56 remaining, their first lead since the end of the first quarter.
Minnesota responded with a seven-point run to quiet the crowd and regain control.
“We just stayed composed,” Wiggins said. “We didn’t let anyone faze us. It’s always tough to play here, so we had to stay true to ourselves and execute.”
Timberwolves: Minnesota rookie Jarrett Culver, who attended Texas Tech, received a hearty ovation during pregame introductions. Culver made his eighth start in 18 games. … Trevor Graham limped off the court with 8:19 remaining in the game and did not return. Graham, who was listed as probable with a bruised left forearm, had three points and two rebounds in 13 minutes. … Josh Okogie, who was listed as probable with a sore left foot, had 11 points in 24 minutes. … Shabazz Napier missed the game with a strained right hamstring.
Spurs: Aldridge has 18,958 points, passing Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen’s 18,941 career total for 59th on the league’s scoring list. … Center Chimezie Metu missed the game with a sore left foot. Metu, in his second year out of USC, is averaging 2.7 points in 3.7 minutes in six appearances this season. … San Antonio is 4-6 at home this season. The Spurs’ last home victory was Nov. 7 against Oklahoma City. … Walker’s career high is 16 points, which he scored against Denver on April 3.
DeRozan recently deleted all his Instagram posts, fueling speculation that he was unhappy with the Spurs and that he is on the verge of being traded.
DeRozan said it’s all nothing.
“I don’t even like social media, honestly,” DeRozan said. “I’m not a big fan of social media, never been. To this day I always wish I had played in the ’90s so I wouldn’t deal with social media. I just let people talk. Me, personally, I hate it.”
So, there is nothing anyone should read into deleting the posts?
“I hate it,” DeRozan reiterated. “If it wasn’t a need in 2019, I wouldn’t have it.”
Visitor: At Dallas on Tuesday night.
Spurs: At Philadelphia on Wednesday night.