MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points, Rudy Gay added 22 and the San Antonio Spurs held on to give coach Gregg Popovich another milestone victory in a 116-113 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
The win was the 520th on the road in Popovich’s career, tying him with Pat Riley for the most in NBA history. It also continued San Antonio’s mastery of Minnesota. The Spurs have won 16 of the past 18 games between the teams.
Marco Belinelli added 19 points off the bench for San Antonio, which was playing without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan because of left ankle soreness.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points for the Timberwolves, but was limited to 21 minutes because of foul trouble. Derrick Rose chipped in 23 points and Taj Gibson added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Minnesota lost for the third time in four games.
Another matchup between the familiar foes was tight throughout, with 27 lead changes and 17 ties. It also featured a heavy dose of fouls on both sides. The teams combined for 53 personal fouls and 67 free throws.
Towns played only 6:13 in a scoreless first quarter, but Minnesota’s bench helped make up for his absence. Towns re-entered and had 14 points in the second.
He picked up his fourth foul less than two minutes into the second half, and again went to the bench. Josh Okogie had six points and Jeff Teague added five as Minnesota used a 14-1 run to take a 77-67 lead.
The Spurs responded with a 13-2 spurt of their own as Davis Bertans hit a pair of 3-pointers.
The Wolves led 90-88 to start the fourth, but Bertans opened the quarter with another 3. San Antonio led by seven in the fourth, but Minnesota clawed back to within one with 30.3 seconds left on Rose’s layup.
Belinelli hit two free throws and Rose’s 3 at the buzzer was off the mark.
Spurs: Popovich is third in NBA history with 1,224 wins overall. He passed Jerry Sloan for third place on Jan. 10. . San Antonio entered 4-17 this season when trailing after three quarters.
Timberwolves: Tyus Jones missed the game with a left ankle sprain sustained Tuesday at Philadelphia. Robert Covington missed his eighth straight game with a right knee bone bruise. . Andrew Wiggins passed Sam Mitchell (7,161) for second place on the franchise’s career scoring list. Wiggins has 7,174 points. Kevin Garnett is first with 19,201 points in a Wolves uniform. . After scoring his 10,000th career point on Tuesday, Rose got his 3,000th assist on Friday. . Minnesota announced that Jerry Sichting was hired as an assistant coach. It is Sichting’s third stint with the Wolves. He spent 10 years with the team from 1995-2005 and two seasons from 2007-09.
Spurs: Return home against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
Timberwolves: Host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.