Marco Belinelli canned two crucial free throws with 4.2 seconds left to play, and LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 25 points as the visiting San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-113 on Friday in Minneapolis.
The game was close throughout, with 27 lead changes and 17 ties through the middle of the fourth quarter. Still, the Spurs led just 108-105 after a stepback jumper by Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins with 3:06 to play.
Belinelli’s driving dunk with 1:56 remaining pushed San Antonio’s lead to five points but was immediately answered by a layup on the other end by Minnesota’s Jeff Teague. Aldridge’s spinning jumper on the Spurs’ ensuing possession again made it a two-possession game at 112-107 with 1:23 left.
Derrick Rose cut the lead back to three points with two free throws with 1:18 to play and added a layup 23 seconds later to bring the Timberwolves within 112-111. Rudy Gay and Rose then traded baskets before a miss by Belinelli with 7.7 seconds left, with the rebound deflecting out of bounds off Minnesota’s Dario Saric.
Rose fouled Belinelli with 4.2 seconds to play and Belinelli canned both free throws to push the Spurs’ lead to three points. Rose then missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Timberwolves fell just short.
Gay scored 22 points for the Spurs, while Belinelli had 19 points, Derrick White added 15, and Davis Bertans and Bryn Forbes poured in 11 and 10 points, respectively, for San Antonio, which has won two straight.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Rose led the Timberwolves with 23 points each. Wiggins tallied 17 points, while Teague had 15, Taj Gibson scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Josh Okogie contributed 10 points for Minnesota.
The back-and-forth game was tied at 58 at intermission. Belinelli led the Spurs with 13 points over the first two periods, with White adding 12 and Aldridge scoring 11 points.
Towns led all scorers with 14 points in the half, while Wiggins and Gibson collected 12 points each for the Timberwolves.
The Spurs played without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, who aggravated a left ankle injury in pregame warmups and was ruled out just prior to tipoff.
San Antonio heads home for a game on Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers while the Timberwolves remain will host the Phoenix Suns, also on Sunday.
—Field Level Media