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Flip To Coach Wolves, Spurs Burn Heat

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations is returning to the bench.

Flip Saunders is taking on the role of head coach two people with knowledge of the situation have told The Associated Press. The move came after the hunt for a head coach was hampered by the uncertainty surrounding the long-term future of star forward Kevin Love.

Saunders previously coached the Timberwolves from 1995-2005. He won 411 games in 10½ seasons in Minnesota and guided the Wolves to the only eight playoff appearances in franchise history, including the Western Conference finals in 2004. He has a career record of 638-526 in 16 seasons as an NBA head coach.

Heat gets to the Heat

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Miami’s quest for an NBA three-peat began by getting wilted in San Antonio. The Spurs closed the game on a 31-6 run to take the opener of the NBA Finals by beating the Heat 110-95.

An air conditioning malfunction caused temperatures inside AT&T to approach 90 degrees. The heat got to Miami superstar LeBron James, who missed the final seven minutes because of leg cramps. He had to be helped off the court at one point, appearing exhausted. He still led the Heat with 25 points in his 33 minutes. Dwyane  Wade added 19.

The Spurs made 14 of 16 shots and all six of their three-point attempts while outscoring the Heat 36-17 in the fourth quarter. Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 21 points and 10 rebounds on nine of 10 shooting from the field. Tony Parker added 19. Manu Ginobili  added 16 and 11 assists. Danny Green hit a couple of big three-points late and added 13 points.

This is the first NBA Finals rematch since 1998. Game 2 is Sunday night in the Alamo City.

 

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