EditorsNote: Tightened headline; Fixed 3rd-quarter score in 2nd graf
Robert Covington scored 21 points in three quarters of action to lead a balanced offense that saw seven Minnesota players score in double figures as the Timberwolves routed the visiting San Antonio Spurs 128-89 on Wednesday.
Minnesota took charge of the game in the second period when it outscored the Spurs 29-9 and turned a three-point lead after the first quarter into a 23-point advantage at halftime. The Timberwolves kept the pedal to the metal in the third quarter, after which they led 92-58, and cruised to the win with both teams’ starters on the bench for the final period.
The Timberwolves are 7-2 in their past nine games since Jimmy Butler was traded to the 76ers for Covington and Dario Saric.
Meanwhile, the Spurs continue to struggle. They are 4-9 in their past 13 games and are below .500 for the third time this season. It’s the first time San Antonio is below the break-even mark through 21 games since the 2003-04 campaign.
Karl-Anthony Towns added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, with Derrick Rose hitting for 16 points, Taj Gibson pouring in 13, Josh Okogie scoring 12, and Andrew Wiggins and Saric tallying 10 apiece for Minnesota.
San Antonio was led by Jakob Poeltl’s 14 points off the bench while Quincy Pondexter added 13 points, Marco Belinelli racked up 11, and LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan scored 10 points each for the Spurs.
The Timberwolves led by as many as nine points in the first quarter before settling for a 28-25 advantage after 12 minutes.
San Antonio missed eight of its first nine shots and committed four turnovers over the first six-plus minutes of the second quarter while the Timberwolves built a 45-27 lead. Wiggins’ 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds to play in the second quarter capped a runaway period for Minnesota and a 57-34 lead at intermission.
Covington led the Timberwolves with 13 points in the half, with Derrick Rose adding 10. Minnesota outrebounded the Spurs 30-21 and had just four turnovers in the first 24 minutes of play.
The Spurs had no double-figure scorers in the first half and shot just 33 percent, including a 5-of-17 showing from beyond the arc. San Antonio also took only one free throw in the half.
The Spurs are without consecutive victories since winning four straight games from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3.
—Field Level Media