Warriors

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

BOX SCORE

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.

TIP-INS:
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.

UP NEXT:
Timberwolves: Host Portland on Monday night.

Spurs: Host Houston on Monday night.

Andre Iguodala: Warriors training camp profile

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USATI

Andre Iguodala: Warriors training camp profile

The Bulls did it twice, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. The Lakers accomplished it once, behind Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In the 42 seasons since the NBA-ABA merger, those are the only franchises to win three consecutive NBA Finals.

When the Warriors come together for training camp on Sept. 25, their goal is to become the third.

Here is a look at those players with guaranteed roster spots.

SEVENTH IN A SERIES

Player: Andre Iguodala
Position: Small forward
Height/weight: 6-6, 215
College: Arizona
Age: 34
Salary: $16M (Year 2 of a three-year pact worth $48 million)
NBA 2K Player Rating: 77

2017-18 in review: Though his defense is solid, Iguodala finds ways to elevate it at significant times. Likewise, his jump shot was dreadful before arriving in March and hanging around through the postseason. An important contribution that surfaced last season was his influence on younger players, specifically Kevon Looney and Quinn Cook, whose solid play was partly the result of Iguodala’s subtle tutelage. Even while missing 18 games, he again made an impact on both ends that defies individual statistics.

Key stats: 64 games (seven starts), averaging 6.0 points (63.2 percent FT, 28.2 percent 3s), 3.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds,

Season highs: Points (14, twice), assists (10), rebounds (eight, three times) minutes (37).

2018-19 outlook: The nagging injuries keep coming, indicating that Iguodala has eased into the twilight phase of his career. The Warriors are beyond worrying about what he does in the regular season, so he’ll be on a maintenance program even if he stays healthy. The priority is that he’s ready to play 18-25 minutes per game in the postseason. Quiet as it’s kept, Iguodala’s absence for the final three games of the Western Conference Finals was a huge loss and nearly cost the Warriors the series.

Draymond Green: Warriors training camp profile

Draymond Green: Warriors training camp profile

The Bulls did it twice, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. The Lakers accomplished it once, behind Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In the 42 seasons since the NBA-ABA merger, those are the only franchises to win three consecutive NBA Finals.

When the Warriors come together for training camp on Sept. 25, their goal is to become the third.

Here is a look at those players with guaranteed roster spots.

SIXTH IN A SERIES

Player: Draymond Green
Position: Power Forward
Height/weight: 6-7, 230
College: Michigan State
Age: 28
Salary: $17.47M (Year 4 of a five-year contract worth $82M per Spotrac).
NBA 2K Player Rating: 87

2017-18 in review: Though Green’s defense generally was stellar, it didn’t meet the standard set the previous season, when he was rightfully voted Defensive Player of the Year. He also struggled with his 3-point shot. No question he felt the affects of several injuries, most notably nagging shoulder soreness. Yet he still led the team in rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Green was, despite the numbers, still an overall force worthy of his third consecutive trip to the All-Star Game.

Key stats: 70 games (70 starts), averaging 11.0 points (45.4 percent FG, 30.1 percent 3p), 7.6 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.

Season highs: Points (25), rebounds (16), assists (16), blocks (six), steals (four, three times), minutes (40).

2018-19 outlook: Insofar as Green does not take well to failure, expect him to raise his overall defense to a level that would put him back in the DPOY conversation. Assuming a summer of physical healing, his shot should improve enough to once again force teams to guard him up top. Green’s fiery ways will continue -- they’re a crucial element of the team’s chemistry -- but don’t be surprised if there is a reduction in technical fouls related to jawing with officials.