Spurs start slow, can’t catch up, lose big to the Timberwolves
The Spurs are now on a four-game losing streak after a poor effort in their visit to Minnesota. The Timberwolves simply outgunned the Silver and Black from outside on Jakob Poeltl’s return to action en route to an easy 115-90 win. San Antonio will now have three days off to regroup before facing some of the best teams in the league in the next few games.
The signs that things might not go the Spurs’ way on Thursday were there from the beginning. It was a nightmarish start of the game for the Silver and Black, as Minnesota was firing on all cylinders while San Antonio was stuck in mud on offense. The struggles on that end were making life harder on the other, as the Timberwolves were pushing the pace after misses and finding fastbreak or secondary transition opportunities in which they easily forced a switched for one of their shot creators to attack. It took the Spurs over four minutes to make a bucket and it would take them three minutes after that one to make their second. Luckily the bench came in and started to close the gap that at several times reached 19 points, or the game might have been over in the first quarter.
The second unit continued to chip away at the deficit in the second frame while the Wolves did enough to keep them from cutting it to single digits, mostly by hitting outside shots. It was a more normal, balanced game at that point, with the Spurs finding the energy they had lacked earlier and eventually getting some momentum going. Dejounte Murray tried to drive to the basket more, Drew Eubanks made some hustle plays and Keldon Johnson got himself to the line to get the Wolves’ lead to just five at one point. The teams traded buckets for a little while, but unfortunately Minnesota closed stronger. The Spurs went cold on offense and the threes started to fall again for the home team, which made it a 13-point game on a beautiful Karl-Anthony Towns drive to close the half.