The San Antonio Spurs wrapped up a quick two-game road trip with a 98-86 defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center on Wednesday night.
The loss was a less than ideal way to end the back end of a back-to-back set for the Spurs, who got a win over the Dallas Mavericks just 24 hours earlier. San Antonio’s undoing was the fourth quarter, where they began the period shooting 20 percent in the first four minutes.
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, and Joffrey Lavergne.
- Despite being in foul trouble, LaMarcus Aldridge held his own against Karl Anthony-Towns in the paint. He and Pau Gasol helped the Silver and Black win the rebounding battle 45-27.
- Joffrey Lavergne got his first real stint of playing time and made some solid contributions.
- Even on a back-to-back, San Antonio showed fight against the young and upcoming Minnesota Timberwolves.
- The Spurs struggled in the second quarter, allowing Minnesota to score 39 points and make 15 consecutive baskets.
- San Antonio’s bench struggled with 26 points as no one from the second unit was in double figures.
Three Standout Players:
LaMarcus Aldridge: The Spurs forward was in foul trouble much of Tuesday’s game, but that did not stop him from making an impact. Aldridge finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Silver and Black, who shot 41 percent for the game.
Aldridge stayed aggressive and did not settle, once again proving his comfort level within the San Antonio system. Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau constantly sent double teams to the All-Star forward, but this time he passed out and found the open man for the bucket.
Pau Gasol: The veteran NBA center posted 13 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday’s loss. Gasol knew he would need to stand tall (literally) in the paint with Towns and Taj Gibson holding down the fort for Minnesota.
Gasol and Aldridge combined for 18 of San Antonio’s 45 rebounds in the game. Gasol will need to stay consistent if San Antonio is able to hold down the fort until Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker return from injury.
Joffrey Lauvergne: Technically he returned from injury on Tuesday against Dallas, but Wednesday night was the first outing for Lauvergne since suffering a high ankle sprain a few weeks ago. And it showed exactly why he is important in Pop’s rotation.
Lauvergne finished with seven points and five rebounds in 12 minutes in Tuesday’s loss. He constantly stayed aggressive and drove the paint, even scoring a lay in off the feed from Gasol. He is a younger, faster, and bulkier version of David Lee from a season ago. We’ve only scratched the surface of what Lauvergne is capable of.
Up next: The Spurs are now 9-6 on the season and will return to the court on Friday when they welcome Russell Westbrook and the 7-7 Oklahoma City Thunder to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.