#662 Minnesota Timberwolvesvs.#661 San Antonio Spurs
Tuesday, March 3 2017, at 9:35pm EDT
Written by Ricky Dimon
San Antonio Spurs (53-16 SU, 36-32-1 ATS, 38-30-1 O/U) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (28-41 SU, 33-36 ATS, 36-33 O/U)
NBA: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 9:30 PM EST
The Line: San Antonio Spurs -5. Total: 205.5.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will be hoping to halt a three-game losing streak when they host the San Antonio Spurs at the Target Center on Tuesday night. Minnesota is coming off consecutive setbacks at the hands of Boston, Miami, and New Orleans. The Spurs most recently defeated Sacramento at home this past Sunday.
San Antonio is looking to make it 11 straight victories in this head-to-head series. The Spurs have won this season’s previous three previous meetings by an average of 9.7 points behind the heroics of All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has topped 30 points in all three wins over the Timberwolves while averaging 33 points on 59.6 percent shooting from the field. San Antonio has won its past five visits to Minnesota, including a 105-91 victory on Dec. 6.
The Spurs are trying to remain close to the first-place Warriors in the Western Conference race and will be counting on Leonard to bounce back from a season-low 12-point outing in Sunday’s 118-102 win over the Kings. Point guard Tony Parker has struggled to stay healthy but he looked like his former star self with 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting and seven assists against Sacramento. Head coach Gregg Popovich was pleased with Parker’s play against Sacramento but admits to frustration over Parker’s frequent injury issues.
“I’m really disappointed with all the injuries because he’s never been able to get a consistent run,” Popovich said. “When he did have that one period when he was consistent, he was playing great defense for us and keeping the team together, really making good decisions on what we needed to be doing offensively, you know on the pace of the game and that sort of thing. Then as the injuries started coming, he starts and stops and starts and stops. He hasn’t been able to get his rhythm back.”
The Timberwolves are sliding out of contention for the final playoff spot in the West after losing three straight road games, including Sunday’s 123-109 loss to the Pelicans.
“This road trip we’re playing like we don’t care,” point guard Ricky Rubio admitted. “It’s a shame on us that we get three games like that seeming like it’s not important. These were the most important games we were playing all season.”
Minnesota lost by an average of 15 points and allowed 121 points per game on the dismal road trip that consisted of losses to the Celtics and Heat prior to the poor showing in New Orleans. The contest against San Antonio is a must-win situation for the Timberwolves as another three-game road swing awaits, and the club is just 10-23 away from home.
The San Antonio Spurs are:
The Minnesota Timberwolves are
San Antonio power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 19.3 points and 8.0 rebounds in three games since returning from heart arrhythmia issues. San Antonio is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings between the two teams and 5-0 ATS in its last five trips to Minnesota. The Timberwolves are 1-4 ATS in their last five overall and 1-4 ATS in their last five after allowing at least 100 points in their previous outing. Expect those trends to continue.
Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns has been superb, scoring 33 points against the Pelicans to post his fourth 30-point outing in the last five games. The over is 4-0 in the Spurs’ last four overall, 8-3 in their last 11 against losing opponents, and 3-1-1 in their last five following a win. It is also 4-0 in the Timberwolves’ last four overall, 9-3 in their last 12 at home, 9-3 in their last 12 following a loss, and 13-3 in their last 16 after allowing at least 100 points in their previous outing. Additionally, the over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the two teams. Look for this one to go over the total.
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A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.