The Spurs seem to be good at winning games without a consistent lineup. Sure, it was the Timberwolves, but when Tony Parker left Wednesday’s game during the second quarter, one may have thought the Spurs were doomed against the sub-500 Wolves. With eight minutes left in the second quarter Tony Parker seemed to pull/strain/injure his hamstring and headed to the locker room with only two points and six assists.
The Spurs did not crumble however; instead Tim Duncan stepped up and scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to beat the ‘Wolves by 16. Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal all contributed 16 points as well (Jackson and Neal coming off the bench) and Tiago Splitter contributed 11. In all, six Spurs scored in double digits and look what happened. The Spurs’ first quarter was strong; they had 32 points compared to the ‘Wolves 16. With Duncan’s rebounding effort, the Spurs out-rebounded the ‘Wolves 56-41, including 17 offensive rebounds (five more rebounds than Kevin Love had total).
The victory was the fourth in a row for the Spurs and five out of their last six. Sure, the ‘Wolves were missing their starting center Nikola Pekovic who was having a sore ankle examined. Kevin Love lead Minnesota with 17 points and 12 rebounds while J.J. Barea had 18 points and 11 assists. Although the ‘Wolves had won the previous two match ups against San Antonio, they were unable to hold off the Spurs despite them being without their All-Star point guard.
The Spurs, playing at home and improving to 18-4 at home, retired Bruce Bowen’s jersey after the game. Bowen, who was an eight time All-Defensive player, was in the Spurs’ starting lineups during their 2003, 2005 and 2007 championship runs. The Spurs will face the Dallas Mavericks next (who are coming off a loss to the L.A. Lakers) and soon match up against Eastern conference surprise Philadelphia 76ers. There has not been any word on how Parker’s hamstring is feeling. While I believe Parker is better than Ginobili (who missed 22 games in a row earlier in the season) the Spurs have still been able to win despite lacking a consistent starting lineup. With all their injuries and inconsistency, the Spurs are still 30-14 and have pushed further away from the L.A. Clippers for second place in the Western conference. Hopefully, Parker can get healthy soon and help push the Spurs to earn home court advantage for the playoffs.
About the Author
Written by Chelsea Curto
Chelsea is a college senior who is majoring in art history and minoring in communications. She plans to become a sports broadcaster. She is a former Division 1 athlete who rowed for a year and a half in college. She enjoys any and all sports, especially basketball. She plans to pursue her education in communication at the graduate school level. Follow her on Twitter: @chelseacurto