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5 things to watch for in tonight’s Spurs vs. Timberwolves matchup

The San Antonio Spurs (29-14) will square off with the Minnesota Timberwolves (23-24) tonight in San Antonio, a place that hasnt’ been kind to Minnesota. The Timberwolves have not won in the Alamo City since 2004 and are on a 14-game losing streak in San Antonio.

Minnesota has won previous two meetings with the Spurs this season including an 87-79 win in Minnesota. The Spurs were led by Tony Parker with 20 points while Kevin Love poured in 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Wolves.

Tonight, Minnesota will be without center Nikola Pekovic with a sore right ankle while the Spurs will be without Matt Bonner due to back spasms but for more on tonight’s game, check out Project Spurs’ Paul Garcia’s complete breakdown. However, here are five things to watch for during tonight’s contest.

  • Take the lead heading into the third quarter Spurs. Minnesota is 5-20 when trailing after three quarters.
  • Don’t let the Timberwolves get hot from the field. Minnesota is 12-2 when shooting 45% or better.
  • Minnesota can clean the glass. The Wolves are fifth in total rebounding percentage (.512), seventh in offensive rebounding percentage (.288), and fourteenth in defensive rebound percentage (.736).
  • Kevin Love is a double-double machine. Love leads Minnesota with 39 double-doubles (points and rebounds).
  • Don’t let the Wolves score 100 points or more. Minnesota is 13-7 when scoring at or over the century mark this season.

Matchup to watch: Kevin Love vs. Tim Duncan. Here is how the two players fared against one another all time (via basketball-reference.com).

5 things to watch for in tonight’s Spurs vs. Timberwolves matchup

The San Antonio Spurs (12-7) will face the Minnesota Timberwolves (8-10) tonight at the Target Center as the Spurs hope the road will be kind to them yet again.

In their first meeting this season, Minnesota snapped its 16-game losing streak against San Antonio with a 106-96 win. In that game, Kevin Love totaled 24 points, and 15 rebounds while Michael Beasley chipped in 19 points. Richard Jefferson and Tim Duncan paced the Spurs with 16 points apiece. However, it was also the game Manu Ginobili fractured his hand.

But as San Antonio enters tonight’s contest, here are five things to keep an eye on tonight.

  • Let’s get a high-scoring affair going Spurs! Minnesota is 0-5 when allowing 100 points or more.
  • Spurs should make sure to be leading at the end of the third quarter. The Timberwolves are 6-2 when leading or tied after three quarters.
  • Minnesota cranks up the “D” in the fourth quarter. Minnesota ranks 4th in the NBA in 4th-quarter field goal percentage defense at 40.7%.
  • Be careful when Rubio is around the ball on defense. Ricky Rubio swiped a season-high six steals in a win over the Detroit Pistons this season.
  • Do not let the Timberwolves get hot from the three-point land Spurs! The Wolves are 4-1 this season when hitting 10 or more three-pointers and 4-2 when attempting at least 23 shots from behind the arch. Oh and another note — they are also 10th in the N.B.A. in three-point percentage defense at 32.7%.
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