Spurs rally to beat T'Wolves in OT, cut Warriors' lead to two games

Spurs rally to beat T'Wolves in OT, cut Warriors' lead to two games


SAN ANTONIO — Kawhi Leonard had 34 points and 10 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a listless start to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-90 in overtime Saturday night.

San Antonio wrapped up its 20th straight playoff spot with the victory. They won in overtime for the second straight night to extend their winning streak to seven and improve to 48-13.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, and Pau Gasol had 17 points and eight rebounds in his fifth straight game as a reserve. The Spurs outscored the Timberwolves 35-20 in the final quarter and overtime.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota. The Timberwolves had not played since Wednesday night in Utah and had won four of five.

Leonard had six points in overtime, and played 44 minutes after playing 40 minutes on Friday night in New Orleans. He finished with six steals and five assists as San Antonio beat Minnesota for the 10th straight time.

San Antonio sat Manu Ginobili for rest, but it seemed most of the team needed a break following an overtime victory in New Orleans on Friday night.

The Spurs looked tired after landing in San Antonio at 2 a.m. Saturday morning following a 101-98 victory over the Pelicans.

San Antonio trailed by 16 points in the first half against Minnesota after matching its season low for points in the first quarter, with six field goals and five turnovers in scoring 14 points. The Spurs went scoreless for three minutes during the first quarter as Minnesota went on a 15-4 run.

San Antonio failed to score 20 points in the first and third quarters, but held Minnesota to 15 in the third to set the stage for a fourth quarter rally.

Leonard pulled San Antonio within a point twice midway through the first quarter, the first on a 3-pointer and the second on a short jumper to pull back within 75-74. His short runner with 2:40 gave the Spurs their first lead at 80-78.

Timberwolves: Minnesota is 5-29 when scoring less than 100 points. . The Timberwolves finished their four-game road trip at 2-2. ... Minnesota's last victory against the Spurs was on April 8, 2014 and its last win in San Antonio was on April 17, 2013.

Spurs: Leonard has scored 30-plus points in 22 games this season. He joined George Gervin and David Robinson as the only players in franchise to score 30-plus in at least 20 games in a season. ... Leonard has scored in double figures in 90 straight games, the longest streak by the Spurs since Tim Duncan had 91 straight in 2002-2003. ... Gasol has scored in double figures in all five games since returning from a broken left finger. ... San Antonio is 10-1 in the second night of back-to-back games. ... The Spurs set their season-low for points in the first quarter with 14 points against Memphis on Feb. 6.

Timberwolves: Host Portland on Monday night.

Spurs: Host Houston on Monday night.

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss


Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.

Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings


Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings

OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi sustained a sprained right ankle with 9:00 left in the second quarter of the Warriors-Kings game Friday night and did not return.

After dropping in a short hook shot with 9:04 left in the quarter, Casspi landed awkwardly, rolling his ankle and dropping to the floor clutching his lower leg. Down for a couple minutes, he eventually got up and limped into the locker room, accompanied by physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane.

Casspi played six minutes off the bench, producing 6 points, one assist and one rebound against his former team.

He joins Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Pat McCaw and Klay Thompson on the sideline.