The San Antonio Spurs are known for gutting out wins in difficult times. However, Saturday night might have been the most impressive win for the new era that is a Kawhi Leonard led-Spurs team.
Leonard posted 34 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Silver and Black to a come from behind overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night at the AT&T Center to clinch a playoff berth.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio, who had played a overtime in New Orleans just 24 hours earlier. Leonard and Aldridge played 43 minutes after playing 43 the night before as well.
Pau Gasol added 17 off the bench for the Spurs, including a big three-pointer in overtime to put San Antonio ahead 90-88.
A clearly exhausted Spurs team struggled early, trailing by as many as 16 points in the first quarter. The Silver and Black had a season-low 14 points in the opening 12 minutes and committed five turnovers.
”We got in pretty late,” Leonard said. ”But I just have to stay in it, be mentally focused for the next game and that’s how you have to play.”
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Andrew Wiggins was held below 20 points for the first time in 21 games as he finished with 17 points. Ricky Rubio posted a triple-double in the loss with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Pop matches Phil: Coach Pop matched Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson for most consecutive playoff appearances with 20.
#Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich ties Phil Jackson for most consecutive playoff appearances in NBA history with 20
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 5, 2017
Up next: The Spurs are now 48-13 on the season and will return to the court on Monday when they welcome James Harden and the Houston Rockets to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.