(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs escaped Cleveland with a close win over LeBron James and the Cavaliers, and will now turn their attention to the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday at the Target Center.
The Spurs recorded a 92-90 win over the Cavs in a highly anticipated matchup between the defending champions and James. The Spurs have defeated James twice in three tries in the NBA Finals and got the best of the superstar again.
James scored just two points in the fourth quarter and 15 for the game, and his costly turnover at the end sealed the win for San Antonio. Spurs top reserve Manu Ginobili picked up James' loose ball and was able to run out the clock. Ginobili previously made 1-of-2 free throws to complete the scoring.
"I went behind the back and just lost it," James said. "That's how the ball rolls sometimes, not too upset about it."
Boris Diaw posted 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds, while Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard added 12 points, 10 boards and four assists for the Spurs, who have won five of their last six games.
"They're going to be one hell of a team," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the Cavaliers. "It's a new system, new bodies. It doesn't happen quickly. I'm glad we're playing them now. They're going to be a whole lot tougher later on in the year."
Tim Duncan scored 11 of his 19 points in the first quarter and finished with 10 boards. Duncan has 804 career double-doubles and trails Hall of Famer Karl Malone (814) for fifth on the all-time list.
In injury news for the Spurs, guard Marco Belinelli (groin) and forward Matt Bonner (illness) are questionable for Friday's game.
After visiting the Timberwolves, the Spurs will return to the Alamo City for three games versus Brooklyn, Indiana and Sacramento.
Minnesota got back into the win column with Wednesday's 115-99 victory versus the New York Knicks in the opener of a four-game homestand. The victory put to rest a season-high five-game losing streak.
The T-wolves held Knicks sharpshooter Carmelo Anthony to 20 points and were led by Kevin Martin's 37 on 14-of-20 shooting and 7-of-11 3-pointers. Shabazz Muhammad scored 17 points and Mo Williams added 14 and 13 assists for the Wolves, who shot almost 50 percent (49.4) and scored 28 points off 23 New York turnovers.
"(Muhammad) plays so hard," Minnesota head coach Flip Saunders said. "I just thought, especially with Carmelo and their lineup, we needed some physicality."
Corey Brewer had 14 points, rookie Andrew Wiggins added 12 and Minnesota evened its home record to 2-2. The T-wolves are 3-0 this season when holding opponents under 100 points.
The Wolves played again without Ricky Rubio (ankle), center Nikola Pekovic (foot/personal) and forward Thaddeus Young (death in family). Rubio is still out and both Pekovic and Young are questionable versus the Spurs.
Minnesota will also host Sacramento and Milwaukee, and lost two of three meetings with San Antonio last season. Spurs guard Tony Parker averaged 21.5 points and 8.0 assists in two games against Minnesota last season.
The Spurs, who won 16 in a row against the Wolves from April 13, 2007 - Jan. 11, 2011, are 21-5 in the past 26 matchups in this series, but have lost two in a row and four of the last five visits to the Twin Cities.