NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 21st (All times eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (23-24) at San Antonio Spurs (29-14), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Not to say the tables have turned on the San Antonio Spurs in their series with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but lately the strength has shifted from the Alamo City dwellers.
The Spurs have dropped the first two meetings with Minnesota this season -- both in the Twin Cities -- and lost a season series to the Timberwolves since losing three of four matchups back in 1999-00. San Antonio had won 16 in a row against the Wolves before this season, but are still unbeaten in the previous 14 encounters in the Alamo City.
Minnesota's last win at San Antonio was a 100-93 victory on Jan. 14, 2004. San Antonio leads the all-time series 68-25 and owns a 38-8 advantage as the host. Wolves All-Star Kevin Love is averaging 21.0 points, 15.5 rebounds against San Antonio this season. Tim Duncan has averages of 12.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.50 blocks in two meetings with Minnesota.
The Wolves haven't won three in a row against San Antonio since a four-game run from Nov. 1, 1996-Feb. 26, 1997.
San Antonio will play two straight at home versus the Timberwolves and Mavericks, and will try to get back on track after having a three-game winning streak stopped with Saturday's 106-99 loss at Dallas. Danny Green and Duncan each scored 17 to pace the Spurs, while Tony Parker ended with 13 points and 11 assists and Tiago Splitter scored 15 in defeat.
"I just think that their team in general was a lot sharper overall than we were," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We were half a step behind most of the night, defensively for sure, and they took advantage of it. They shot the ball well, they moved it well. They did a good job."
Stephen Jackson, who was acquired by the Spurs at the trade deadline, played nearly 17 minutes and had five points. The Spurs are 17-4 at home and four games ahead of Dallas for the Southwest lead. They're also seeded No. 2 in the Western Conference and have won two straight at the AT&T Center.
Minnesota will continue a seven-game road trip Wednesday and is 2-3 so far on the swing. It ended a three-game slide and won for only the second time in seven tries with Monday's 97-93 triumph at Golden State behind Love's 36 points and 17 rebounds.
Luke Ridnour added 11 points and Anthony Tolliver had 10 for Minnesota, which is still 2-4 since rookie point guard Ricky Rubio was lost for the season with a torn ACL. J.J. Barea had a season-high 10 assists in the win.
"We were able to distribute the ball well," Love said. "Different guys stepped up. This is what needed to happen tonight."
The Wolves will close out the trek in Oklahoma City on Friday and are 11-12 as the guest this season, They sit two games off the eighth and final postseason spot in the conference. Wolves forward Michael Beasley (toe) and center Nikola Pekovic (ankles) are listed as questionable for this evening.
03/21 10:41:51 ET