The pattern of close loss, blowout win, close loss, blowout win in the Wolves’ quest for a winning streak — or just two in a row — never mind getting a game or two above .500… anyway, the pattern: it was broken by a balanced, physical San Antonio Spurs attack that blew the wheels off Kevins Love and Martin.
Love shot 3-14 from the field, Martin shot 2-12, both very Ricky Rubio-esque (Ricky shot 3-8), and finished with 14 and 6 points.
“We gotta figure out a way to help him,” Rick Adelman said of giving Love a lift. Spurs coach Greg Popovich said after the game limiting Love’s three-point attempts was a big part of the game plan going in. Love went 0-2 from beyond the three-point line.
To his credit, Love took both responsibility and creative license after the game saying it’s on him to make shots and calling Boris Diaw a physical player. (This is in the same vein as “round” being a shape, right? I digress.)
With the physical presence of Diaw vexing Love’s offensive game, it was the presence of Kawhi Leonard on Martin that really stymied the Wolves offense. Leonard also had 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks on 8-11 shooting.
Nikola Pekovic did work tonight, making 10-15 shots for 22 points and hitting the offensive boards for 5 of his 6 rebounds.
Alexey Shved continued his inspired play, hitting 3-4 from deep, to go with 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
No Manu Ginobili tonight in San Antonio as the Spurs opt to treat his hamstring conservatively and let it rest. No matter.
The Wolves attempt to recover and reach .500 on the season once again Wednesday at Target Center against the Sacramento Kings.
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