Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ win over Spurs

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates with Jake Layman. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates with Jake Layman. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves won their second consecutive game with a fairly easy win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night at Target Center.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves’ issues with the San Antonio Spurs over the past decade or so are well-documented.

Those issues did not continue on Wednesday night.

Minnesota was easily the more aggressive team in every facet: on the glass, in getting to loose balls, and forcing turnovers. The Wolves led for most of the first half and carried a seven-point lead into halftime.

The Spurs tied the game and took a brief lead early in the third quarter, however, and it looked as though things could flip quickly on the Wolves.

But to their credit, Ryan Saunders’ crew stuck to their game plan, forcing the Spurs into tough mid-range jumpers and moving constantly on their own end of the floor, generating opportunities at the rim for cutters and getting enough wide-open 3-point attempts to maintain a high percentage from beyond the arc.

Andrew Wiggins was once again the star of the game for the Wolves, scoring 30 points and adding eight rebounds and seven assists. Even though Jeff Teague was back and had an effective game off the bench for the Wolves, Wiggins was still the engine that made the offense go.

Karl-Anthony Towns had another solid night, putting up 28 points and holding LaMarcus Aldridge to just four rebounds while pulling down 11 of his own boards.

The Wolves ultimately shot just 11-of-34 (32.4 percent) from beyond the arc, but they hit enough threes to build and keep a double-digit advantage in the second half.

Minnesota had their lead back up to 11 points by the start of the final frame and extended it to north of 15 points, allowing Saunders to get some extra rest for his starters.

It was an all-around impressive performance from the Wolves, and they’ll have a legitimate chance to extend their winning streak this weekend with back-to-back home games against the Wizards and Rockets.

Player Grades

A-. Towns was a bit better in this one than he had been of late. His final line of 28 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and two steals will absolutely play, and he finally had a great night from the free throw line, making 11 of his 13 attempts. Towns did a great job on Aldridge and was no match for the Spurs when he ended up with the ball anywhere near the rim.. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

Wiggins was once again awesome, making six of his first seven shots and finishing with an efficient night when it was all said and done. He went through a cold streak of 2-for-10 shooting during the middle stages of the game, but finished strong with a couple of late threes and tough buckets in the paint to finish off the Spurs. Wiggins ended up with 30 points (12-23 FG, 4-7 3P, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block. The rebounds and assists were once again every bit as impressive as the scoring.. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANDREW WIGGINS. A

B. Covington scored 10 first-half points and was quiet in the second half, although he continued to be rock-solid on the defensive side of the floor. He was 2-of-4 from outside the arc and pulled down five rebounds in just 23 minutes of play.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ROBERT COVINGTON

A. Jeff Teague made his return to the Wolves after a four-game absence due to an illness. He came off the bench in this one but was fantastic, dropping an easy 18 points on 10 shots and dishing out six assists while grabbing two rebounds and two steals. It will be interesting to see if he remains part of the bench unit moving forward, or just how quickly he might move back into the starting lineup.. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JEFF TEAGUE

B. Graham had an extremely quiet night, scoring just four points on four shots and grabbing a pair of rebounds in 27 minutes. Per usual, he was very good on defense and was a big part of keeping the non-DeRozan members of the backcourt in check.. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. TREVEON GRAHAM

B. Okogie had a weird night. He was utterly fantastic on defense and pulled down 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. But he also shot 1-of-8 from the floor and missed his two 3-point attempts badly. Okogie finished with a plus-minus of +3 and made all four of his free throw attempts.. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE

A-. Culver was once again good, scoring 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting and also logging four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. He’s clearly figuring out the pro game and appears to truly be in control when he’s on the court. No doubt that the opportunity to run more of the offense has helped to expedite Culver’s learning curve.. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JARRETT CULVER

A. Layman was third on the team in minutes played with 29 and had one of his better games in a Wolves uniform. He finished with 16 points (7-9 FG, 1-3 3P, 1-2 FT), three rebounds, two steals, and an assist and a +11 in the plus-minus column. Layman primarily scored on beautiful cuts to the basket and impressive passes from his teammates, but displayed his know-how and athleticism within the flow of the offense.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JAKE LAYMAN

Other Players

Noah Vonleh took over the primary backup center role in this one, logging 14 minutes and putting up seven points and a pair of rebounds.

Gorgui Dieng only played eight minutes, split between the start of the second quarter and garbage time at the end of the game. He was 0-for-3 from the field and had three rebounds.

Next. Checking in on the Wolves' top offseason additions. dark

Up Next

The Wolves will host Washington on Friday night. They beat the Wizards two Saturdays ago in D.C. without Towns, so this will absolutely be a game that Minnesota should be able to win.