Spurs hold off Timberwolves, win 107-98

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

Keldon Johnson’s 25 points and Doug McDermott’s 23 off the bench helped San Antonio defeat Minnesota 107-98 Sunday night. The two teams have already played each other three times in the young NBA season, and the Spurs (5-2) won two of the games after the first two were played in Minnesota (4-3) last week. 

The Spurs were without several key players and dealt with more injuries during the game; however, the Spurs 40 percent shooting from the three-point line to the Timberwolves’ 13.8 percent made the difference. 

“Everyone’s so unselfish on this team, and it’s off the court, and I think it carries over on the court,” McDermott said. McDermott tied his career high with seven three-pointers in Sunday’s victory.

Karl-Anthony Towns opened the game with 15 first-quarter points for Minnesota. The Spurs hung tight, tying the game at 16 midway through the quarter and did not look back. McDermott came into the game and hit back-to-back threes to extend the Spurs’ lead. The first quarter ended with San Antonio on top 26-23. The Spurs called two separate timeouts in the second quarter after being up just four to the Timberwolves. The Spurs went on a 13-4 run with featured three-pointers from Keita Bates-Diop, Malaki Branham and Johnson. San Antonio went into halftime up 57-47. Towns led the Wolves with 19 points and McDermott had 11.

The Spurs opened the second half on a 9-0 run and eventually took a 19-point lead midway through the quarter. McDermott added three more threes in the third quarter to help keep the lead at 15 heading into the fourth. Anthony Edwards and Naz Reid combined for 14 points in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to help the Wolves go on a 16-5 run and cut the lead to four. The Spurs stood tall, and big shots from McDermott and Johnson helped seal the 107-98 victory.

Tre Jones had 10 points, Bates-Diop had 18 points along with six rebounds and  Jakob Poeltl had 14 rebounds. This game was a full team effort, and Johnson knew that’s what it would take.

“Everybody’s different on the team,” Johnson said. “Everyone brings their different style. When we are missing something, we know somebody else is going to come in and bring something unique to the team.” 

While it looked like the Wolves were going to dominate this game, starting with 15 points from Towns, the Spurs held Minnesota to 23 first-quarter points, which no other team has been able to do. Towns finished with 26 points, and Edwards had 18.

The Spurs will host the Toronto Raptors at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2.