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Wolves lose opener to Spurs, Jimmy Butler vows to keep playing hard

Butler hit the game-tying 3 with 42 seconds remaining.

Jimmy Butler hit a clutch 3-pointer with under a minute left in the game but the Timberwolves lost to the Spurs 112-108 in the season opener Wednesday night in San Antonio. 

Butler finished with 23 points on 9-of-23 shooting and added 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 1 block. He played hard, living up to his end of the bargain he made with Wolves owner Glen Taylor, who promised that he'll keep trying to trade the 29-year-old All-Star.

"I've got 81 games, baby, that's all the matters," Butler said after the game, via ESPN. "We've got to lock in on today, what tomorrow brings and see where we are at. If that (trade) comes to be, that comes to be, there's nothing I can do about that. But in the meantime, I've got to figure out a way to help us win some games."

Butler's 3 in the final minute gave tied the game 108-108, but DeMar DeRozan wasted no time giving the Spurs the lead back, driving on Butler and stopping on a dime for a pull-up jumper that had Butler backpedaling. 

Minnesota's other All-Star, Karl-Anthony Towns, fouled out in just 22 minutes of action. He didn't take his first shot attempt until there was just over five minutes left in the first quarter and he didn't make his first shot until the third quarter. The big man finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds.  

Jeff Teague led the Wolves with 27 points and Andrew Wiggins scored 20, 16 of them in the first half. 

The difference in the game was San Antonio's rebounding and 3-point shooting. 

San Antonio hit 11-of-25 from deep compared to just 6-of-19 for the Wolves, and the Spurs dominated the rebounding, including 19 offensive boards. Leading the Spurs was LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 21 points and 19 rebounds, 8 of them offensive. 

Minnesota plays Friday in its home opener against Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

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