SAN ANTONIO — Despite being down 16 points in the final quarter, the San Antonio Spurs used a hard nosed defensive effort to rally and defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-108 at the AT&T Center on Wednesday night.
The win snaps a two-game losing streak for San Antonio, who dropped two home games to the Memphis Grizzlies last week.
“We played to win in the second half,” said Spurs Head Coach Popovich said of his team’s comeback.
San Antonio played without LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay, who both were sidelined with hip injuries. Popovich said prior to Wednesday’s game Aldridge may be out for an extended period of time.
The Spurs’ opening game struggles continued, falling behind 12-6 early and trailing 33-29 after the first quarter. Malik Beasley gave San Antonio all they could handle as he finished with 29 points on 66 percent shooting to go along with six rebounds.
D’Angelo Russell added 20 for Minnesota, who dropped to 1-9 on the road this season with Wednesday’s loss.
Staying with it
Despite going down 16 points in the fourth quarter, the Spurs stuck with what they know and used hard nosed defense to rally to grab the win. DeMar DeRozan set the tone for San Antonio, scoring 30 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.
Jakob Poeltl added a season-high 19 points and Dejounte Murray had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who outscored Minnesota 32-18 in the final 12 minutes.
“They hung in,” Popovich said. “It shows a lot of good character. You get down. We lost the last two games. We haven’t played well. We got down again, but they kept plugging away, and that’s impressive to me.”
Jakob comes through in the clutch
With Aldridge out for the next few games, Poeltl stepped up in the big man’s absence, showing why Pop gave him the starting position a season ago.
Along with the season-high 19 points, Poeltl was dominate down low. He grabbed eight rebounds, had four blocks, and shot 90 percent on the night. His block on Beasley set the tone for the Spurs on the night, beginning their rally for a come from behind win.
DJ gets going
Dejounte Murray had a solid outing for the Spurs, posting a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Murray was aggressive in the final quarter, feeding off DeRozan’s play.
If the team can find a way to figure out the slow starts, they could start to turn things around.
The Spurs are now 12-10 on the season and will return to the court on Saturday when they face the Houston Rockets at 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Center.