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Gameday Preview: Spurs vs. Wolves

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (30-6) vs. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (9-28)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 18.9 Tim Duncan 9.4 Tony Parker 6.9
WOLVES Michael Beasley 21.8 Kevin Love 15.6 Luke Ridnour 5.5
The San Antonio Spurs look to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 15th straight time when the teams meet in San Antonio tonight to open a home-and-home set.

San Antonio (30-6) holds the league’s best record but has struggled in both matchups this season against the Timberwolves.

The Spurs were down by 11 at the end of the third quarter of an eventual 113-109 overtime victory last November 24, and trailed by 15 entering the final period of a 107-101 win on December 3.

The Timberwolves (9-28) are seeking to avoid a fourth consecutive loss. After blowing an eight-point lead with less than three minutes remaining in a 108-105 overtime loss to undermanned Charlotte last Wednesday, the Timberwolves trailed by as many as 24 before losing 108-98 to Portland last Friday night.

While the Timberwolves continue to falter, Kevin Love hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. He had 30 points and 19 rebounds versus the Trail Blazers for his 23rd consecutive double-double.

Love is averaging 28.5 points and 20.0 boards in the season series with the Spurs this year. Defensive specialist Corey Brewer is likely to make his fourth start for the Wolves. He leads the team with 1.6 steals per game.

The Timberwolves haven’t won in San Antonio since Jan. 14, 2004, a 100-93 victory in which Duncan had 36 points and 20 rebounds in a losing effort. Another thing going for the Spurs is they are a veteran team that has confidence and knows what is takes to win ball games.  

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — Ginobili, Parker, Duncan and Jefferson leads the Spurs offensive attack. Matt Bonner is hitting his 3-pointers and George Hill and Gary Neal continues to provide steady hands off the bench. They should have enough fire power against the Wolves.

Defense
– The Spurs must contain the Wolves’ inside game, limiting Beasley and Kevin Love on offensive end and controlling the rebounds will be the key.

WOLVES:

Offense — Their offense starts with Beasley and Love but It will be important for them to get their inside game going, otherwise it will be a long night for the struggling Wolves.

Defense — Defend the Spurs’ dribble penetrations and kick outs, cover the Spurs’ outside shooters and pound the ball on the inside. Entering this game the Wolves leads the league in the rebounding department. 
 
INJURIES

Spurs — James Anderson – stress fracture (out)

Wolves — Martell Webster – back (day-to-day), Anthony Tolliver – knee (day-to-day)

PREDICTION: The Spurs have already defeated the Timberwolves twice this season but it came the hard way. The Wolves have given the Spurs matchup problems especially on the frontcourt, if they can dominate the inside and control the boards an upset is very likely.
However, the Spurs are a veteran team and are coming off a tough game against the Indiana Pacers and Gregg Popovich is one of the best in keeping his players focused for every game. This should be another close one with the Spurs winning it 98-95.

Follow Robby Lim on Twitter @RobbyLim21

Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Wolves

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (12-1) vs. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (4-11)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 20.4 Tim Duncan 9.2 Tony Parker 7.8
WOLVES Michael Beasley 21.9 Kevin Love 14.0 Sebastian Telfair 4.4
wolves_logoThe San Antonio Spurs are off to their best start in franchise history. They will look extend their winning streak to 12 games when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at the Target Center.

The Spurs (12-1) defeated the Orlando Magic 106-97 in San Antonio last Monday pulling away in the final period while making 5 of 5 of their shots from beyond the arc.

The Timberwolves (4-11) are coming off a 117-107 road loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and will try their hardest to get back to the win column.

Offense has played a big part in San Antonio’s early success. The team currently ranks second in the league in scoring averaging 107.6 points per game. The Timberwolves on the other hand, are last in points allowed at 110.4 per game.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson and Duncan leads the Spurs offensive attack. Matt Bonner and Gary Neal are hitting the 3’s and George Hill provides a steady had off the bench. They should have enough fire power against the Wolves. 

Defense
– The Spurs must contain the Wolves’ inside game, limiting Beasley and Kevin Love on offense and controlling the boards will be the key.  

WOLVES:

Offense — Their offense revolves around Beasley and Love. It will be important for them to get their inside game going, otherwise it will be a long night for the Wolves.

Defense — Besides limiting Duncan inside the paint, it will be key for the Wolves to limit the Spurs’ dribble penetrations and kick outs. The Spurs are shooting an NBA best 44.4% from the 3-point area. 

INJURIES

Spurs — James Anderson – stress fracture (out)

Wolves — Martell Webster – back (out)

PREDICTION: The Spurs are the hottest team in the league winning 11 straight games, while the Timberwolves have loss two straight games and will try their best to pull an upset and end the Spurs’ winning streak.
However, the Spurs are a veteran team and knows that any oversight will be huge a mistake. They should be ready and focused for this one and extend their winning streak 12 games.

Follow Robby Lim on Twitter @RobbyLim21

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