Smoke shouldn't be an issue this time for Wolves, Spurs

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( - The last time the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves were scheduled to play, a fire broke out in Mexico City Arena.

The two teams will get together Friday in the Alamo City.

An hour before the Spurs and Timberwolves were set to tip off on Dec. 4, a generator malfunction occurred and filled the venue with smoke. Players and fans were immediately evacuated from the arena and team personnel began loading gear into each team's respective bus soon thereafter.

The game, part of the NBA's Global Games international initiative, is the first scheduled by the league in Mexico since Dallas and Houston squared off on Dec. 6, 1997.

The T'Wolves and Spurs split four meetings a season ago and will play three times in 2013-14. San Antonio has won 19 of the last 23 overall meetings in this series. Minnesota has lost 16 of 17 and 20 of its last 24 at the Spurs.

San Antonio is back home briefly and posted a 109-77 beating of the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday at the Bradley Center. Tim Duncan contributed 21 points and 16 rebounds in just 24 minutes. Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard netted 15 and 13 points, respectively, for the Spurs, winners in 15 of the last 18 games.

The Spurs led by as many as 38 points.

"Every game we go into we don't worry so much about who we're playing," said Duncan. "It was a good focus night for us, a good execution night for us. We came with the right energy."

Marco Belinelli had 11 points in the victory, while Cory Joseph and Danny Green scored 10 apiece. Spurs center Tiago Splitter missed his second straight game due to tightness in his left calf and is questionable Friday.

After hosting the Timberwolves, the Spurs, who are 8-2 at home, will start a four-game road trip Saturday against Utah, the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix and Golden State.

Minnesota will try for its first three-game winning streak since opening the season with a trio of victories. The Wolves recently handed the Philadelphia 76ers a 106-99 setback on Wednesday and were led by Kevin Love's 26 points and 15 rebounds.

Ricky Rubio ended with 21 points and Nikola Pekovic added 20 and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which trailed by a 39-20 score after the first quarter and scored 27 points off 26 Philadelphia turnovers. Minnesota is 11-6 this season when scoring 100-plus points.

"When you can erase a lead like that, the momentum is going in our favor, it's like a boulder rolling down a hill," Wolves reserve guard Robbie Hummel said.

Hummel had 10 points off the bench.

The Wolves will start a three-game road trip Friday against San Antonio, Memphis and Boston, and are 4-7 outside the Target Center.