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Game Preview: Timberwolves host Spurs
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Boasting a solid 16-4 record, the San Antonio Spurs will be a tough opponent for the Timberwolves Tuesday night. The Wolves (6-14) however, are coming off a big win Saturday night against the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte, as an Andrew Wiggins three forced the game into overtime, where the Wolves managed to secure the 125-120 victory.
Wiggins is coming off a 29 point outing, while Karl-Anthony Towns is also coming off a solid performance, scoring 27 points to go along with 15 rebounds. Kawhi Leonard is having himself a solid season thus far, averaging just over 24 points per game for the Spurs, who will be playing the second game of their back-to-back stint after dueling the Bucks in Milwaukee, a game in which they won narrowly, 97-96, their 12th road win of the season.
PG: Ricky Rubio #9
SG: Zach LaVine #8
SF: Andrew Wiggins #22
PF: Gorgui Dieng #5
C: Karl-Anthony Towns
PG: Patty Mills #8
SG: Danny Green #14
SF: Kawhi Leonard #2
PF: Lamarcus Aldridge #12
C: Pau Gasol #16
Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic – out/season (recurring ankle pain), Brandon Rush – toe (questionable)
Spurs: Tony Parker – knee (Out)
In their three total meetings last season, the Spurs swept the season series, winning all three games in Tim Duncan’s last year as a professional.
The most recent meeting, which occurred in March at Target Center, saw the Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge get hot and drop 29 points en route to a 116-91 victory. Andrew Wiggins managed to find some success however, as he scored 23 points and gathered 8 rebounds in 39 minutes played.
Looking at the bigger picture, the Spurs have beaten the Wolves in seven straight games, which includes four in a row at the Target Center, by an average of 23.5 points per game.
The Wolves lineup of Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Nemanja Bjelica, and Cole Aldrich has been extremely strong as of late. The lineup boasts a +23.1 net rating, which ranks first among all used lineups so far this season.
That strong bench play will have to sustain tonight if the Timberwolves want to have a good chance to beat the Popovich led Spurs. Muhammad and Bjelica have scored in double figures in back-to-back games now, and the bench has scored an overall of 47 points versus the Knicks (a season high), and 36 points Saturday in the win against the Hornets.
TV: Fox Sports North – Dave Benz (play-by-play), Jim Peterson (analyst)
Also nationally televised on NBA TV
Radio: 830 WCCO-AM – Alan Horton (play-by-play)
(All stats found from nba.com, basketball-reference.com, and Timberwolves PR)