Late surge carries Timberwolves past Spurs
D’Angelo Russell scored 27 points, and Malik Beasley added 24 as the Minnesota Timberwolves made key plays down the stretch and outlasted the visiting San Antonio Spurs 96-88 on Sunday in Minneapolis.
It was the second game of a two-day back-to-back between the teams.
The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Timberwolves, who played without Karl-Anthony Towns. He was held out on the second night of the back-to-back as part of the team’s plan to ease him back after he returned Saturday after two weeks off to recover from a dislocated left wrist.
The game was tied at 81 after a hook shot by the Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge with 4:54 to play. Minnesota then ran off seven of the next nine points to take control.
San Antonio pulled to within 92-88 with 56.9 seconds left but missed five shots down the stretch, allowing the Timberwolves to close out the win at the free throw line in the final 31 seconds.
Naz Reid added 11 points for the Timberwolves.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak was for the Spurs, who were without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan, who is usually the Spurs’ top option late in games, left the team on Sunday to fly to Los Angeles to be with his ailing father.
San Antonio won Saturday’s game against the Timberwolves, 125-122, in overtime behind 38 points from DeRozan.
Lonnie Walker IV racked up a season-best 25 points, 22 of those in the first half, to lead the Spurs, with Aldridge scoring 20. Patty Mills pumped in 18 points, Dejounte Murray added 11, and Trey Lyles grabbed 11 rebounds for San Antonio.
Walker led all scorers with 22 points in the first half, already a season-high, outscoring the rest of San Antonio’s starters by four points. Beasley paced the Timberwolves with 12 points in the half, with Russell adding 10 over the first 24 minutes.
The third quarter went back and worth, with the lead changing hands eight times before the Spurs grabbed a 69-66 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes.
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