Under coach Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs have been consistent winners. That includes when they go on the road — and anywhere they play the Minnesota Timberwolves.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points, Rudy Gay added 22 and the Spurs held on to give Popovich another milestone victory in a 116-113 win against the Timberwolves on Friday night.
Popovich earned his 520th career win on the road, tying Pat Riley for the most in NBA history.
“We got through some stuff and it’s always good to win on the road,” Popovich said. “It’s always difficult to do, but when you do it feels pretty good.”
The win also continued San Antonio’s mastery of Minnesota. The Spurs have won 16 of the past 18 games between the teams. San Antonio is 59-25 in the series since Popovich took over as coach for the 1996-97 season.
Marco Belinelli added 19 points off the bench for San Antonio, which played without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan because of left ankle soreness.
“Coach Pop said don’t think about it and play basketball, and we’ve got to win the game no matter what,” forward Davis Bertans said.
Photo: Jim Mone / Associated Press
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Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points for the Timberwolves but fouled out after only 21 minutes. Derrick Rose chipped in 23 points and Taj Gibson added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota.
Nets 117, Magic 115: D’Angelo Russell matched his career high with 40 points and the Brooklyn came back from a 21-point deficit to beat host Orlando. Russell’s 3-pointer with 27.1 seconds left put the Nets up for the first time since they went ahead 2-0 in the game’s first minute. Aaron Gordon scored 23 points for Orlando, which has lost six of eight.
Celtics 122, Grizzlies 116: Kyrie Irving scored 20 of his 38 points in the third quarter and host Boston Celtics held off Memphis. Marcus Smart had 20 points and Al Horford finished with 18 for the Celtics, who have won two straight since a three-game losing streak. Mike Conley scored 26 points for the Grizzlies, who have lost 10 of 11 overall and six in a row on the road.
Jazz 115, Cavaliers 99: Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points, Rudy Gobert had 19 points and 15 rebounds and host Utah won its sixth in a row. Royce O’Neale added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Derrick Favors had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the Jazz’s eighth victory in nine games. Ante Zizic and Collin Sexton each scored 15 points to lead Cleveland.
Pistons 98, Heat 93: Blake Griffin had 32 points and 11 rebounds, and host Detroit overcame an early exit by center Andre Drummond to beat Miami. Dwyane Wade scored 20 points for the Heat, but missed badly on an off-balance 3-pointer in the final seconds that could have tied the game. Drummond left after being hit in the face in the first quarter by the arm of Miami’s James Johnson. Former Warriors center Zaza Pachulia subbed for Drummond but scored only two points — on a tip-in that put Detroit up 94-91 with 26.7 seconds left.
Trail Blazers 128, Pelicans 112: Damian Lillard had 22 points and eight assists and CJ McCollum and Jake Layman scored 20 points each for host Portland. Anthony Davis had 27 points and seven rebounds for New Orleans.
Briefly: The Bulls expect rookie center Wendell Carter Jr. to be out for at least eight weeks because of a left thumb injury. The team said surgery has been recommended for Carter, who was hurt Tuesday against the Lakers. Carter is averaging 10.3 points and seven rebounds. … The Timberwolves announced that Jerry Sichting was hired as an assistant coach. It is Sichting’s third stint with the Wolves. He was with the team from 1995-2005 and and from 2007-09.
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