Timberwolves at Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves in nearly eight years as the teams prepare to do battle on Sunday. Minnesota has lost 15 consecutive games in San Antonio since posting a 100-93 victory on Jan. 14, 2004. The Timberwolves are without star forward Kevin Love (broken hand) and have lost eight of 12 games. The Spurs have won nine of 12 despite falling in overtime to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
San Antonio has won 11 consecutive home games and is 15-2 overall at AT&T Center as it begins a three-game homestand. The loss to Memphis was the third in five games for the Spurs, who have dropped seven of their last nine road contests. Minnesota is expected to be without coach Rick Adelman for the fourth straight game as he is tending to his ill wife. Assistant coach and former NBA guard Terry Porter is handling coaching duties until Adelman returns. The Timberwolves blew an 18-point lead while losing Friday’s game against New Orleans.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), FSN Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (16-17): Minnesota went just 4-of-18 from 3-point range against New Orleans to drop its season percentage to 29.8. Last season’s Charlotte Bobcats shot just 29.5 percent to become the first NBA team in 10 seasons to shoot less than 30 percent from behind the arc over an entire season. The Timberwolves had only nine players suit up against New Orleans, with guard Luke Ridnour stepping up to score a season-high 20 points. Ridnour is seeing time at both the point and shooting guard positions as regular point guard Ricky Rubio still is being nursed back after major knee surgery. Rubio is averaging 19 minutes.
ABOUT THE SPURS (28-11): Power forward Tim Duncan has experienced three consecutive poor offensive performances. The 35-year-old veteran is averaging just 11.3 points and shooting 34.1 percent during the stretch that included a 5-of-14 shooting effort against Memphis. “It’s just like a hitter who doesn’t hit for a while,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “What are you going to do? You just keep shooting. He keeps playing hard whether a shot goes in or out.” Duncan did have a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds against the Grizzlies after averaging just 7.3 boards over the previous four games. His season averages are 17.2 points and 9.7 rebounds.
1. San Antonio is 39-8 at home against Minnesota.
2. Spurs G Tony Parker scored 30 points against Memphis and is averaging 21.8 over the last nine games.
3. Timberwolves F Andrei Kirilenko had two steals in Friday’s game to become the 15th player in NBA history with 1,000 steals, 1,000 blocks and 2,000 assists in his career.