MINNEAPOLIS -- You might not have recognized the San Antonio Spurs that lost 107-83 at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, one night after the team with the NBA's second-best record had thumped Oklahoma City at home.
But you definitely wouldn't have known a Timberwolves team that entered Target Center losers 24 times in its last 28 games and walked away with a blowout victory after the league's worst 3-point shooters shot so deftly from there for one blessed night.
The Spurs flew to Minnesota after Monday's victory without starters Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard while the battered Wolves once again played on without Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko.
The Wolves lost their last two games before Tuesday night by 20 or more points, but this time they made 12 of 20 3-pointers and point guard Ricky Rubio reached his first career triple-double after weeks of flirting with one.
The Wolves took control of the game with a 29-10 second quarter in which rookie guard Alexey Shved rediscovered his shooting touch for the first time in weeks and they just kept going.
By the time it was all over, they led the Spurs by as many as 29 points while Rubio watched the final 2:39 from the end of the bench after a 21-point, 12-assist, 13-rebound night that the home court cheered enthusiastically.
Rubio finished with a 9-for-17 shooting night after he had gone 3-for-19 in two previous games this year against the Spurs: 0-6 in one game, 3-13 in the other.
Teammate J.J. Barea made five of his team's 12 treys and scored 17 on a night when the Wolves bench outscored the Spurs bench 48-38.
The Wolves entered the game as the league's worst 3-point shooting team -- and threatening to become the worst ever before this season is all over -- with a 29.3 percentage.
Then they went out and made six of 10 attempts in the first half, including five of eight in the second quarter alone when they outscored the Spurs 29-10 to turn a four-point deficit into a 53-38 lead by halftime.
They did so with a bench that outscored their San Antonio counterparts 24-7 in the half, thanks to Shved's rejuvenated performance.
Shved entered the game having gone 0-for-10 on 3-pointers in his previous three games and 9-for-52 in his previous 17 games.
That's 17 percent in those last 17 games, if you're keeping track at home.
Shved went 5-for-6 from the field in the second quarter alone, and made both of the 3-pointers he attempted.
By halftime, the Wolves had that 15-point lead and backup center Chris Johnson already had five blocked shots by then.
The Wolves finished 12-for-20 on 3s for the night while the Spurs went just 9-for-28.
The last time they visited Target Center -- on Feb. 6 -- Spurs guard Danny Green made eight treys all by himself and scored a career-high 28 points on 8-for-12 3-point shooting.
Green started the night Tuesday by making a 3-pointer in the opening 16 seconds but then had just one more the rest of the night.
NOTES: Spurs starters Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard -- as well as Tony Parker, of course -- did not make the trip to Minneapolis, so Stephen Jackson and Matt Bonner started instead. Both Duncan and Leonard missed Tuesday's game, and the trip, because of a sore knee. ... Wolves forward Chase Budinger has been cleared for contact practice, but given the team's busy schedule, those practices could be few and far between. Budinger, out since November because of a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, consulted with Florida surgeon James Andrews by phone on Tuesday and given clearance. Budinger said he'll need at least one full practice with his teammates to test his knee and conditioning before he'll be able to play. The Wolves aren't scheduled to practice until Saturday and likely will only practice twice in the next 10 days. ... Wolves star Kevin Love hopes to get the OK to practice after he visits his NYC hand surgeon on Wednesday. Love, too, likely will need some practice time before he'll play in a game. He hasn't played since breaking his right shooting hand for the second time this season on Jan. 3 in Denver. He and Budinger likely will work out 2-on-2 together to get themselves into shape when the team isn't practicing. ... Wolves starters Andrei Kirilenko (strain calf) and Nikola Pekovic (abdominal strain) remained out Tuesday and are not expected to play Wednesday at Indiana.