Wolves' Sharp Shooting Upends Spurs 106-96
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Associate
If the performance of the Minnesota Timberwolves during their last two games indicates anything, it may show that those first three close losses to start the season were no fluke.
One night after snapping their 18-game losing streak dating back to last season, the Wolves won their second consecutive game with a 106-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs at Target Center. The back-to-back wins were the first for Minnesota since March 9-11, 2011.
"A real solid win for us," coach Rick Adelman said. "The energy we came out with after last night...the first quarter we played so well offensively. The ball was moving. "
Monday's win was a convincing performance dominated by all five starters, with each finishing in double-figures. Kevin Love again led the way for the Wolves with 24 points, 15 rebounds and tallying his fifth double-double in five games this season.
"We feel great with how things have been going; we just need to keep improving," Love said. "More than anything, our big improvements are on the defensive end where we can still get better."
Following Love with a dominating performance was forward Michael Beasley and guard Luke Ridnour with 19 points each, while Wes Johnson tallied 14 and Darko Milicic finished with 10.
Similar to Monday's win over Dallas, the Wolves put together an offensive stretch that created separation. This time it came in the third, when the Timberwolves turned a seven-point halftime lead into a 17-point rout in the span of six minutes.
"It's not so much the back to backs, it's about building on the night before, especially on wins," Ridnour said. "Just trying to get better each time we're out. We've done a great job helping each other and playing good team defense. That's what it's about."
Minnesota (2-3) pulled away from its 66-59 halftime lead to a 15 point cushion early in the fourth quarter to aid in the victory.
The Wolves also had some unintentional help from the Spurs (3-2), as they lost Manu Ginobli in the first half when he suffered a broken finger in his left hand.
While his loss may have hurt the Spurs, it was Minnesota’s determination that proved they intend to stay competitive and successful this season.
San Antonio was led in scoring by Tim Duncan and Richard Jefferson, who each had 16 points. Tony Parker had 11 and Tiago Splitter had 12 off the bench.
With Beasley putting up impressive numbers, despite suffering a left index finger laceration the previous night against the Mavs, he was pleased with the win but still ready to improve—both on his own and as a team.
"I'm just ready to get another one," Beasley said. "I'm not going to be overly excited. Last year we won two straight, then we lost 16. It's great that we can take care of the home floor against two good teams."
And with just a few short weeks into the season, head coach Rick Adelman seems to be putting this young team into place.
"If you think about it we've been together, new coach, new system, for three weeks," Ridnour said. "That's not very long. We'd be in the fifth preseason game right now. It's just going to keep taking time. Like coach always says, we've got to keep building each game and getting better and better."
Adelman expressed similar thoughts following Monday's win.
"That's what we talked about before the game—you're not satisfied after last night, you build from it," Adelman said. "That's what I told them now, two more games in this home stand. We want to build off what we did these two games. We've actually played pretty well all the way through for the first five games. You have to maintain your focus. Tomorrow, enjoy the win, but Memphis is coming here on Wednesday."
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