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Despite 26 From Wiggins, Wolves Fall To Spurs In Opener

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Wolves kept it close and it looked like they were turning a corner in the fourth quarter, but they fell to the Spurs in Wednesday’s season opener in San Antonio.

Minnesota took a 92-91 lead thanks to a Jimmy Butler basket with 5:02 left in the fourth quarter, but the Spurs went on a 16-7 run to close out the game for the 107-99 win.

“We didn't close out the way we needed to against a team like that," Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game. "You have to play, particularly down the stretch. We have to cover the line better than we did. We just have to do better.” 

The Spurs, who were without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, move to 1-0, while the Wolves fall to 0-1.

Andrew Wiggins led the Wolves with 26 points. Karl-Anthony Towns added 18 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 8-for-15 from the field. In his Wolves debut, Jimmy Butler finished with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford combined for 21 points and 11 assists.

LaMarcus Aldridge led San Antonio with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Danny Green scored 17, nine coming from the 3-point line. Dejounte Murray finished with 16 points and five assists, while Rudy Gay added 14 points and five rebounds. Kyle Anderson finished with a near double-double of 12 points and nine rebounds.

The Wolves shot 43.5 percent from the field while the Spurs shot 46.1 percent.

“We did just alright," Butler said. "We fouled a little bit, didn’t rebound like were capable of. They got what they wanted to get on the offensive end. All in all, I think that was the game, we turned the ball over, and we can’t do that.”

Numbers Game:

  • The Wolves were better from deep, hitting 8 of 19 3-pointers (42.1 percent), while the Spurs were 8-for-21 (38.1 percent).
  • The Spurs dominated the rebounding game, grabbing 50 to Minnesota’s 42.
  • In his first game off the bench since the middle of the 2015-16 season, Gorgui Dieng finished with two points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 13 minutes and 30 seconds.

Leader of the Pack: Andrew Wiggins

Fresh off of signing a contract extension, Wiggins didn’t disappoint, scoring a team-high 26 points to go with five rebounds. Wiggins shot 9-for-14 from the field and 4-for-6 from the 3-point line. He did, however, shoot just 4-for-9 from the free-throw line.

Highlight of the Night:

Just 50 seconds into the game, Butler hit a 3-pointer for his first-ever points in a Wolves uniform. It gave the Wolves a 3-2 lead.

There’s plenty more where this came from.

Up Next:

The Wolves have their highly-anticipated home opener in the newly-renovated Target Center on Friday against Ricky Rubio and the Utah Jazz. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. and the game will air on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO.