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Wolves 102, Spurs 94: Gobert’s Dominant Night Powers Wolves to National TV Win

Rudy Gobert’s 16 points and 21 rebounds led Minnesota on a dominant second half run to take down fellow Frenchman Victor Wembayama and the Spurs.

San Antonio Spurs v Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs were locked into a defensive showdown — perhaps a generous way of describing a game mostly void of high-end offense — for the first three quarters, but came to life in the final frame. In the end, it was Minnesota’s veterans — specifically Rudy Gobert — that provided enough of a burst to push the Wolves to victory.

Gobert finished the night with a plus/minus of 31, and his impact wasn’t more evident than when he came out of the game due to foul trouble in the second quarter.

“This is the best I’ve ever seen him play,” Wolves head coach Chris Finch said postgame. “Obviously, I didn’t see him play every single night when he was in Utah, but this is the best I’ve ever seen him play on both ends of the ball.”

Gobert’s 16-point, 21-rebound night was critical on a night the Timberwolves looked for offense nearly everywhere they could in the first half of the game.

Anthony Edwards made his return to the court on Wednesday night at Target Center, where he shared the floor with fellow No. 1 overall pick Victory Wembanyama. Edwards’ night got off to a slow start, finishing the first half one-for-five from the field and just five points.

Edwards’ struggles forced the Wolves to generate offense elsewhere, which yielded neutral results. Mike Conley shouldered the scoring and facilitation load early, while Naz Reid provided a burst off the bench to the tune of a 10-point first half.

“He [Naz Reid] continues to be one of our hardest-working guys in the weight room and taking care of his body. And he just plays with a bunch of confidence, so I don’t know if he’s faster or not, but he’s playing exactly the way we want him to play.”

Timberwolves fans stood for longer than they would’ve liked to begin the game, with Minnesota’s first point coming just under three minutes into the opening quarter. Roughly one minute later, Mike Conley scored the team’s first bucket to brake the offensive dry spell. Reid and Anderson brought a bit of juice to the offense, as Reid made three of his first five shots and finished the quarter with six points.

The Wolves were out-rebounded 12-5 in the first 12 minutes, as the Victor Wembenyama-Zach Collins front-court found success in the opening frame. Collins scored eights points and pulled down three boards, getting the best of Minnesota’s jumbo starting lineup.

When Gobert was forced to sit with three fouls at the 9:46 mark of the second quarter, the Spurs made up ground, evened the score and then took the lead. Their lead held to the first half buzzer, where San Antonio held a seven-point lead. Devin Vassell recorded 12 points in the first half, including two timely 3-pointers.

Despite the offensive struggles early, Conley again acted as a stabilizer for Minnesota. He finished the first half with 10 points, three rebounds while getting to the free throw line twice and earning four points. When the offense stalled in the first few minutes, Conley’s timely makes were critical to keep the Wolves within striking distance.

Towns did not record a miss in the first half, going three-for-three from the field, including one 3-pointer and two free throws. His six rebounds was tied for the team lead with Gobert.

Conley and Gobert combined for a 9-0 Wolves run to begin the third quarter, as Conley’s made 3-pointer and Gobert’s dunk (assisted by Conley) breathed some life into Minnesota’s offense right out the third-quarter gate.

With Gobert back in the mix in the fourth quarter, the game swayed back into the Wolves’ favor as he continually contested shots at the rim and pulled down five offensive rebounds and generated six points off putbacks.

Chants of “RU-DY, RU-DY” rained down from the Target Center crowd as Gobert excited with just over 20 seconds remaining and the game out of hand, an appreciation for the center’s efforts on a night they needed every bit of defense and interior presence they could get.

Up Next

The Wolves host the Memphis Grizzlies for a Friday-night matchup scheduled for a 7 p.m. CT tip, broadcast on Bally Sports North.

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