On Saturday, the Timberwolves played for the first time at the end of a series of back-to-back games. It didn’t go well for them. They followed a win over the Lakers with a blowout at the hands of the Clippers.
Wolves beat the Kings on Wednesday before facing Spurs on Thursday in a similar scenario – playing the next day after a win.
In Los Angeles, the Wolves did what they’re prone to do after a win – come out flat. But that wasn’t the case Thursday, as they jumped over San Antonio early on for a 115-90 end-to-end win at Target Center for their second straight win.
Wolves came on the evening shorthanded on their bench, but found themselves with six double-digit players in one of their most comprehensive efforts of the season. Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with 25 points and 12 rebounds as Wolves took a 20-point lead in the first quarter and put it all back in the second quarter before leveling off the rest of the way.
Naz Reid (foot pain) and Josh Okogie (back spasms) missed the game for Wolves, leaving their bench understaffed, but Jaden McDaniels, Malik Beasley and Taurean Prince took over. McDaniels had his best offensive game of the season with 13. Beasley looked to regain his shooting touch with 15 and Prince had his best game of the short season with 13 in 15 minutes before being sent off in the third quarter for a flagrant foul -2 against Lonnie Walker. D’Angelo Russell had 22 of 6 of 19 shots.
Devin Vassell had 18 for Spurs while Apple Valley’s Tre Jones had eight on the bench.
Wolves couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to the game, as Edwards scored the first seven, prompting Gregg Popovich to request a time-out with just 2 minutes and 2 seconds left.
Wolves continued to do so in the opening minutes as they opened up a 22-3 lead with Towns and Russell taking the table with 11 and six points in the first each, respectively.
San Antonio was collecting everything he threw up early and had just three points up to the 4:40 mark of the first. The Spurs entered the second delay of 14 and trailed 47-34 with 6:20 left before pushing on an 11-3 run.
San Antonio came close at 57-53 before Wolves closed the half with a 9-0 streak. Towns converted a layup as the bells rang to end with 19 in the first half. It helped make up for a few fouls for Edwards, who had to come to the bench at the end of the second quarter with three fouls. Wolves shot 52% for half time while Spurs made up for their lower first quarter by shooting 60% in the second quarter.
McDaniels, Beasley and Prince combined to shoot 9 of 14 for 26 points in halftime.
This helped make up for the fact that Edwards went through the rest of the game without a point until garbage time. Wolves managed to keep the momentum going in the third quarter and kept the lead in double digits most of the time before Prince was ejected for hitting Walker in the face on a drive to the basket at the end of the quarter .
The bench helped them push him to 18, their biggest lead since the first quarter. Coach Chris Finch opted to have Towns, Russell and Edwards play on the ground to start the fourth, and Wolves managed to put the game aside in the fourth by extending the lead to 20.
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