Forget potential, for the Minnesota Timberwolves the future was now as Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love teamed up to take down the San Antonio Spurs 87-79 on Friday night.
The Southwest Division-leading Spurs started the game strong but eventually both teams settled into a tight affair with the Spurs leading by one after each of the first two quarters before taking a tied game into the fourth quarter. Minnesota took a six-point lead early in the fourth quarter but San Antonio came back to tie things up at 79-79 with just over three minutes remaining in the game.
That's when Rubio and Love took over, fueling an 8-0 run by the Wolves to close the game and secure the big W in front of an approving Target Center crowd. Rubio sparked the run scoring the first four points and then finding Love for a layup. The Spurs had no answer and Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Richard Jefferson took turns trying to answer but continued to come up empty.
Rubio finished the game with 18 points and 10 assists including some beautiful bounce passes through traffic for easy buckets at the rim. Love added his patented double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds, but was joined in the double-double ranks by Nikola Pekovic with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Parker led the way for the Spurs with 20 points and three assists while Duncan finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Minnesota has a day to enjoy this victory as they prepare for another high-profile guest on Sunday when Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers visit.