The San Antonio Spurs led 92-91 with 5:56 remaining but the Minnesota Timberwolves (10-8) went on a 12-3 run and defeated the Spurs 113-101 at the AT&T Center on Wednesday night.
The loss is the second straight for San Antonio and 12 of 14 overall. The Spurs suffered their fifth straight defeat at home and have not won inside the friendly confines since November 17.
“I thought in the second half we played pretty damn good defense overall,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said.
Here are three observations from the game:
Does Walker earn his minutes?
As you know from past articles, it has been mentioned Lonnie Walker needs to earn his minutes to see the court more often. He may have just secured more playing time in the near future if Wednesday’s showing is anything to go by.
Walker came off the bench and scored 11 points in 13 minutes. He showed off his speed, driving ability, and range from three-point land. He made some minor errors but overall, it was a nice showing from the second-year player.
“You just have to be patient, day in and day out,” Walker said of earning his time in Wednesday’s loss to the Wolves. “You know the coaches have your best interest.”
Cold from 3
The Spurs had their worst performance from beyond the arc of the season, not good for a team struggling to get wins. San Antonio went 5-for-29 from three compared to 18-for-40 for Minnesota.
Bryn Forbes, Derrick White, and Rudy Gay shot a combined 2-for-19 from three in the loss.
“If you’re going shoot 5-for-29 from three and your opponent shoots 18-of-40, that’s the name of the game,” Popovich said. “We’ve been there before. That’s the name of the game.”
Defensive woes on the perimeter
One of the reasons the Spurs struggled to contain Minnesota’s hot three-point shooting was their lack of perimeter defense. The Timberwolves swung the ball around the horn and players missed their assignments, leaving guys like Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Downs open for threes.
San Antonio will need to fix this issue sooner rather than later if they want to start winning games at a more consistent rate.
The Spurs are now 6-13 on the season and will return to the court on Friday night when they welcome the LA Clippers (14-5) to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.