Minnesota Timberwolves Hold Off San Antonio Spurs Despite 29-Point Outing From Victor Wembanyama

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In the first-round match of the In-Season Tournament, the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the San Antonio Spurs 117-110 on Friday night, thanks to 29 points and 12 rebounds from Karl-Anthony Towns. Victor Wembanyama scored 29 points.

Minnesota won its fifth straight game behind the 28 points and 10 rebounds of Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert.

Wembanyama shot 3 for 7 from three-point range and 12 for 21 from the field. Following a challenging debut at Madison Square Garden in a Wednesday defeat to New York, the top choice added nine rebounds, four assists, and four blocked shots.

For San Antonio, Devin Vassell scored 29 more points.

Despite their noteworthy wins over Boston and Denver, Minnesota has yet to secure a road victory this year.

After losing its first two games to Indiana and the Knicks by an average of 31 points, San Antonio has now dropped its last four games.

With three minutes left, the Spurs, in danger of suffering yet another lopsided defeat, shot 9 for 12 from the field and 3 for 5 from 3-point range to start the fourth quarter and pull within 104-97.

The Spurs were unable to come any closer thanks to the Timberwolves.

After a slow start, Minnesota jumped out to an 18-point advantage in the third quarter.

The Wolves outscored the Spurs 68-46 while shooting 9 for 15 from beyond the arc in the second and third quarters. In the third, Minnesota scored 34-19 over San Antonio, driven by a 19-5 run.

After conceding 44 and 33 points in the first quarters of their previous games, the Spurs held the Wolves to just 22 points in the first quarter.

Of the Spurs’ first twenty-one points, Zach Collins and Jeremy Sochan combined to score thirteen. Collins had eleven points at the end, and Sochan scored fourteen.

After sitting out two games due to a strained left groin, Vassell made his starting lineup come Wednesday against New York.

For the first tournament, Golden State, Sacramento, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Minnesota are in West Group C. Except for the tournament final, which is scheduled for December in Las Vegas, all of the games count toward regular-season records.

“I think the fans are the ones that are more excited than we are,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “It gives them a lot of things to talk about. It’s kind of a portent of maybe who’s going to be there at the end of the year, and they can talk about that. I think it will be a heightened competitive environment amongst the players for sure.”