Looking to Build

In their first game after the All-Star break, the San Antonio Spurs shook off some early struggles to put together their best defensive effort of the season.

The defending NBA champions look to build on that win and continue their push for the Western Conference lead when they visit the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made San Antonio -8 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at X total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 50% of bets for this game have been placed on San Antonio -8 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

San Antonio (35-17) defeated Charlotte 85-65 on Tuesday in its first home game in more than three weeks. The Spurs, owners of the top-ranked scoring defense in the West (91.0 points per game), allowed season lows in points and shooting (28.2 percent). They also outrebounded the Bobcats 54-38.

"Fortunately we played great defense tonight and they helped us out as well by not making shots," said guard Manu Ginobili, who scored 18 points. "We got in their faces and didn't give them any wide open looks."

The Spurs have won three straight and seven of eight.

While San Antonio's defense was suffocating, Tim Duncan had a tough time finding his shooting touch.

After averaging 22.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in San Antonio's final four games before the All-Star break, Duncan had just seven points on 2-of-12 shooting Tuesday, although he added 15 boards and five blocks.

"He's a human being, so some nights he might not score as much as one would like,'' San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of the 10-time All-Star. "But his defense at the rim and that sort of thing is always important to us. So he did what we wanted him to do.''

Duncan has 35 points and 23 rebounds in two games against Minnesota this season - both victories. The Spurs have won three straight over the Timberwolves and eight of the last nine meetings.

Tony Parker could return to San Antonio's lineup Wednesday after missing the last nine games with an inflamed left ankle. He's averaged 19.0 points and 8.5 assists in the two games against the Wolves this season.

"I think he'll get some minutes in Minnesota," Popovich said. "Not many, but he'll play."

Ginobili, averaging a team-high 20.0 points, is averaging 26.5 versus Minnesota in 2007-08 and shot 10-of-14 from 3-point range in those games.

Minnesota (11-41) defeated Philadelphia 104-88 on Tuesday to snap a five-game losing streak.

The Timberwolves have the worst record in the West, and are planning on using the rest of the season to figure out what direction the club will take in the future.

"These 30 games are important for us,'' Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "In my mind, and probably in management's mind, this is important to see how we're going to build this.''

One player who seems certain to be central to that future is forward Al Jefferson, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds against the 76ers. Jefferson, acquired in the Kevin Garnett trade, leads Minnesota with 21.2 points, 12.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He's averaging 23.5 points and 7.5 boards against the Spurs this season.

Randy Foye, who missed the first three months of the season with a knee injury, made his first start of the season Tuesday and finished with 13 points and five assists.

Wittman paired Foye and Sebastian Telfair in the backcourt, and said he's not sure how long he'll go with that experiment.

"They'll determine that for me,'' Wittman said. "When you put new combos together, they'll tell me how it's working by how they play.''

San Antonio has won four of its last five at the Target Center.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Celtics improving Finals odds The Boston Celtics are showing signs that they want to be in the hunt to win the NBA Finals next season. Do oddsmakers feel the Celtics are...
Thumbnail Warriors re-sign Curry, Iguodala The Golden State Warriors are committed to keeping their championship team together. The team re-signed a number of players last week to improve their odds to...
Thumbnail Paul George joins the Thunder The Oklahoma City Thunderwon the Paul Georgesweepstakes last week. How has this impacted the team’s ability to win the NBA...
Thumbnail Rockets improve Finals odds After making a big splash this week, are the Houston Rockets making a push to win the 2018 NBA Finals?
Thumbnail Updated NBA Finals Odds After a busy week with the NBA Draft taking place, which team improved their odds to win the 2018 NBA Finals?

NBA Headlines

  • WASHINGTON (AP) A person familiar with the deal says that All-Star point guard John Wall has agreed to a $170 million, four-year contract extension with the Washington Wizards that will start with...
  • SALT LAKE CITY (AP) A person with knowledge of the situation says the Utah Jazz have reached agreements with Justin Zanik and David Morway to join the front office.
    Zanik returns to the Jazz ...
  • CLEVELAND (AP) A person familiar with the decision says the Cleveland Cavaliers are promoting assistant general manager Koby Altman to be their full-time GM.
    Altman has been serving as the cl...
  • A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Pau Gasol has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs.
    The 7-foot Spaniard and the Spurs ca...
  • MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month's NBA draft.
    Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
    Brooks was ...

NBA Team Pages