NBA: Balanced attack leads Spurs past Timberwolves

Reuters

Posted at Dec 22 2018 12:58 PM

San Antonio Spurs. Reuters/File

Bryn Forbes poured in 22 points, 15 of them in the first half, to pace six teammates in double-figure scoring as the San Antonio Spurs stayed hot with a dominating 124-98 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday for their third win in a row.

The Spurs used a 14-2 second-quarter run, torrid shooting from beyond the arc (19 of 33, 57.6 percent) and stifling defense throughout. San Antonio has won seven of its past eight outings and held its past six opponents under 100 points, the longest streak by any team in the NBA this season.

Marco Belinelli added 17 points for the Spurs, with Davis Bertans tallying 15, Rudy Gay hitting for 14, and DeMar DeRozen and Jakob Poeltl scoring 12 each, and LaMarcus Aldridge pumping in 10 points in the win for San Antonio. The Spurs outshot Minnesota 52.9 percent to 39.8 percent and out-rebounded the Timberwolves 49-38.

Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 15 points, Robert Covington and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 13 each, and Tyus Jones added 10 points off the bench. The loss was the second straight for Minnesota and the fifth in its past six games.

The Spurs led throughout, but only by 29-21 at the end of the first quarter after a Patty Mills 3-pointer with 37.1 seconds to play.

San Antonio made its move in the second period, breaking the game open with a 14-2 run that included three straight 3-pointers by Belinelli and another from beyond the arc by Forbes to take a 49-27 lead with 6:47 to play in the half.

The Spurs pushed their advantage to 26 points on a jumper by DeRozan a minute and a half later before Minnesota closed the half by scoring the final seven points to pull to within 62-44 at intermission.

Forbes had 15 points over the first two quarters and Belinelli added 14 by halftime as the Spurs outshot Minnesota 52 percent to 34 percent and nailed 10 of 17 3-pointers in the half (58.8 percent).

Jones led the anemic Timberwolves offense with eight points at the half. Minnesota took just six shots from beyond the arc in the first half and made just one of those.

Minnesota missed its first four shots of the third quarter and fell behind 71-45 after a floating jumper by Poeltl at the 8:46 mark of the period. The Timberwolves drew to within 16 points late in the quarter but still trailed 87-71 heading into the final stanza.

The Spurs return to the court on Saturday in Houston for the second half of a home-and-road, back-to-back set. Minnesota remains on the road for the second installment of a three-game road trip on Sunday in Oklahoma City.

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