Some things are simply a fact: The San Antonio Spurs are 16-2 when playing at the AT&T center, making them the best home team in the NBA. Other things, like Tony Parker leading the team to another win and Tim Duncan playing great despite age and everything else, don’t change as well.
Manu Ginobili had a good thing going before leaving the game injured, finishing with 12 points and 5 assists in the 12 minutes he was playing in, but there’s been something a bit off for most of the season so far with the weakest limb in the famous trio, while other players, like Gary Neal in this case, take over the responsibilities of the aging sixth man.
In fact, the Spurs have started more players than anyone else this season: 12 different men. The only player not to get a chance to be featured in the starting lineup? Manu Ginobili.
Tim Duncan had a fantastic game, especially on defense. In somewhat of a scoring slump, Duncan finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 7 blocks, a season high for the player averaging 2.7 blocks per game this season and 2.2 for his career. He’s only the third player in the last 14 years to pick up that kind of stat line, and the first since Marcus Camby did it for the Denver Nuggets nine years ago.
It was a lot more normal for the rest of the guys. Tony Parker finished with 20 points in 29 minutes, making 10-15 from the field. Facing the depleted lines of the Minnesota Timberwolves, aching the in the absence of Kevin Love once again, it was simply too easy for him to have his way with the opposing guards.
The Spurs have now won 12 straight games at home, but their record is 22 home wins, back in the 2010-2011 season. After the 106-88 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, They’re averaging 106.3 points at home while shooting 49.6% from the field, compared with the 103.6 and 47.6% they produce when their away from San Antonio. Not that big of a difference, but part of the reason why they’re only 13-9 when on the road.
There were some intersting off the ball moments in the game, most of them coming from Gregg Popovich who found himself getting ejected but was still in high spirits after the game.
… It’s kind of neat that it was seven, but I mean, he does that every night. He tries to do the best he can guarding, blocking shots, protecting the rim for us… Patty is always an energetic guy; he does a great job busting his butt. He just couldn’t find the rim tonight, well, he found the rim; he couldn’t find the net.
His finest moment probably came in the second quarter, during a stretch of limiting his starters’ minutes. Tim Duncan went on his own to check into the game, but Popovich went up to the scorer’s table, grabbed Duncan by the front of his warm up jersey and led him back to the bench. Less than a minute later, after the Timberwolves cut the lead down to three points after two consecutive turnovers, Duncan made it back to the game.