SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs opened the season the way the ended last year, with Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard on the bench nursing injuries. The result was a little different.
The Spurs fought off Minnesota with a late 9-0 run to open the new season with a win over the up-and-coming Timberwolves, 107-99.
"I thought we played well," said LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge led the way for San Antonio.
After several conversations over the summer with head coach Gregg Popovich, who admitted Aldridge's struggles his first two years were the head coaches fault, Aldridge was the Spurs leading scorer with 25 points. He also pulled down 10 rebounds, five at both ends of the court.
He was hitting from inside and outside, including a three pointer.
"I felt good. I made some easy ones and that'll come to me as I keep going. I thought I tried to make some good reads out of the double teams and I tried to put pressure on them down low," Aldridge said.
All to the pleasure of Tim Duncan and David Robinson, who were on hand to take in the season opener.
Dejounte Murray got the start at point guard for the Spurs in place of Parker. He started 7 for 7 but missed his last shot.
Murray finished with 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting. He had 2 turnovers and two assists and used those long arms to block a shot.
"I think we prepared ourselves starting training camp and the preseason," Murray said.
"I thought he played well at both ends. He was composed offensively," Gregg Popovich said.
Spurs fans kept a close on one of the new faces, Rudy Gay.
Coming off the Achilles tendon injury, Gay played in his first regular season game since January.
"Kind a got emotional early in the game, I've been through so much these past couple of months," Gay said.
His first bucket was a thunderous slam dunk. He went on to finish with 14 off the bench.
The Spurs head to Chicago to take on the Bulls Saturday.