Smoke shouldn’t be an issue this time for Wolves, Spurs

Updated: December 13, 2013

( – The last time the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota
Timberwolves were scheduled to play, a fire broke out in Mexico City Arena.

The two teams will get together Friday in the Alamo City.

An hour before the Spurs and Timberwolves were set to tip off on Dec. 4, a
generator malfunction occurred and filled the venue with smoke. Players and
fans were immediately evacuated from the arena and team personnel began
loading gear into each team’s respective bus soon thereafter.

The game, part of the NBA’s Global Games international initiative, is the
first scheduled by the league in Mexico since Dallas and Houston squared off
on Dec. 6, 1997.

The T’Wolves and Spurs split four meetings a season ago and will play three
times in 2013-14. San Antonio has won 19 of the last 23 overall meetings in
this series. Minnesota has lost 16 of 17 and 20 of its last 24 at the Spurs.

San Antonio is back home briefly and posted a 109-77 beating of the Milwaukee
Bucks on Wednesday at the Bradley Center. Tim Duncan contributed 21 points and
16 rebounds in just 24 minutes. Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard netted 15 and 13
points, respectively, for the Spurs, winners in 15 of the last 18 games.

The Spurs led by as many as 38 points.

“Every game we go into we don’t worry so much about who we’re playing,” said
Duncan. “It was a good focus night for us, a good execution night for us. We
came with the right energy.”

Marco Belinelli had 11 points in the victory, while Cory Joseph and Danny
Green scored 10 apiece. Spurs center Tiago Splitter missed his second straight
game due to tightness in his left calf and is questionable Friday.

After hosting the Timberwolves, the Spurs, who are 8-2 at home, will start a
four-game road trip Saturday against Utah, the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix
and Golden State.

Minnesota will try for its first three-game winning streak since opening the
season with a trio of victories. The Wolves recently handed the Philadelphia
76ers a 106-99 setback on Wednesday and were led by Kevin Love’s 26 points and
15 rebounds.

Ricky Rubio ended with 21 points and Nikola Pekovic added 20 and 10 rebounds
for Minnesota, which trailed by a 39-20 score after the first quarter and
scored 27 points off 26 Philadelphia turnovers. Minnesota is 11-6 this season
when scoring 100-plus points.

“When you can erase a lead like that, the momentum is going in our favor, it’s
like a boulder rolling down a hill,” Wolves reserve guard Robbie Hummel said.

Hummel had 10 points off the bench.

The Wolves will start a three-game road trip Friday against San Antonio,
Memphis and Boston, and are 4-7 outside the Target Center.