NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 27th (All times eastern)
San Antonio Spurs (12-7) at Minnesota Timberwolves (8-10), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Timberwolves were able to snap a 16-game losing streak to the San Antonio Spurs when the two clubs met in early January and shoot for a rare win streak in the series tonight at the Target Center.
The Timberwolves finally got the best of the Spurs with a 106-96 victory on Jan. 2 in Minneapolis thanks to 24 points and 15 rebounds from Kevin Love, while Michael Beasley and Luke Ridnour both had 19 points. They had not defeated the Spurs since January 3, 2007, but have still lost 21 of the last 23 meetings between the two clubs.
San Antonio lost guard Manu Ginobili in that one with a fractured fifth metacarpal in his left hand and is 10-2 in the previous 12 contests in the Twin Cities. The Wolves have still lost 14 in a row in the Alamo City.
Minnesota is in the midst of a tough schedule and will play the Spurs, Lakers, Rockets and Pacers in succession. It has split the last four games against the Clippers, Jazz, Rockets and Mavericks, and recorded a 105-90 triumph at Dallas the last time out on Wednesday behind 31 points and 10 boards from Love, who inked a contract extension prior to the game. He has posted 17 double-doubles this season and helped Minnesota stop a two-game slide and win for the fifth time in eight tries.
"It was a good day," said Love. "I wanted to put everything aside that happened off the court and really wanted to focus on the game tonight.
Ricky Rubio added 17 points and 12 assists, and Wayne Ellington scored 16 points for the Timberwolves, who are 4-6 as the host and last in the Northwest Division standings. The Wolves will play two straight and three of the next four games at the Target Center. Wolves guard Luke Ridnour (knee) is questionable for Friday's game.
San Antonio is just 2-6 away from home this season and will begin a three-game trek tonight against the Wolves, Mavericks and Grizzlies. It has won two straight and six of its last nine games, including Wednesday's 105-83 victory versus the Atlanta Hawks.
Matt Bonner and DeJuan Blair each scored 17 points for the Spurs, who improved to 10-1 at home this season and got 16 points from Tiago Splitter. Tony Parker added 15 points and seven assists, while reserve Danny Green had 10 points. The Spurs bench scored 51 points to make head coach Gregg Popovich happy.
"Our bench was fantastic," Popovich said. "A number of people came into the game and played good solid basketball both at the defensive and offensive ends."
Tim Duncan had just six points and grabbed 11 boards for a San Antonio squad that sits one game ahead of Dallas for Southwest supremacy. Duncan leads the team with five double-doubles this season. Parker holds the record for most points at the Target Center with 55 on Nov. 5, 2008 in a double-overtime win. He is averaging 21.3 points and 8.9 assists in his previous 10 games.
The Spurs are currently in the midst of playing 16 of 21 road games. They are currently 3-3 during that stretch, with four games on the road and two at the AT&T Center.
01/27 10:48:57 ET