Spurs stun Wolves on Keldon Johnson’s late free throw

Devin Vassell scored 25 points, Victor Wembanyama added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Keldon Johnson hit the game-winning free throw as the San Antonio Spurs roared back from 15 points down to stun the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 113-112 on Saturday.

The Timberwolves led by 12 points at halftime and 90-80 heading into the final period. San Antonio rallied, taking the lead at 93-92 on Doug McDermott’s 3-pointer with 8:42 left in the game.

A jumper from beyond the arc by Anthony Edwards with 3:22 remaining tied the game at 107 before Vassell hit a layup and Wembanyama drained a 3-pointer, the latter with 1:55 to play, to give the Spurs a five-point advantage.

Minnesota responded with five straight points from Edwards to tie the game again, setting the stage for Johnson’s decisive free throw with 9.2 seconds remaining. Following a timeout after Johnson missed the second free throw, the Timberwolves had a chance to win the game, but Karl-Anthony Towns’ step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Johnson finished with 14 points off the bench for the Spurs, while Jeremy Sochan added 13 and Tre Jones finished with 12 points and 11 assists. The game was the second of a home back-to-back for San Antonio following a 116-100 win over Portland on Friday. It is only the third time San Antonio has posted back-to-back wins this season.

Edwards led all scorers with 32 points and dished out 12 assists. Rudy Gobert and Towns added 19 points apiece for Minnesota, with Naz Reid hitting for 13 off the bench and Nickeil Alexander-Walker contributing 11 points in the loss.

The Spurs led 20-17 after a layup by Blake Wesley with 6:34 to play in the opening period before Minnesota reeled off a 17-1 run over the ensuing five minutes, capped by Edwards’ 3-pointer to go up 34-21. A putback basket by Kyle Anderson with 8.8 seconds remaining sent the Timberwolves to a 36-23 lead after 12 minutes of play.

Minnesota expanded its advantage to 15 points early in the second quarter before the Spurs whittled their deficit to 40-34 on Cedi Osman’s layup at the 8:11 mark. The Timberwolves responded with a 9-2 run punctuated by a driving layup by Towns. Edwards later poured in a 3-pointer and a jumper, the latter with 1.1 seconds to go in the first half, to establish a 64-52 advantage at the break.

Edwards had 17 points before halftime to lead all scorers, while Gobert added 11 for Minnesota. Wembanyama had 16 points to lead the Spurs and Vassell scored 10 in the half.