As Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley exited the floor following his team's 115-90 win over San Antonio, his voice boomed in the hallway near the locker room.
"Way to be pros," Beverley bellowed for anyone walking past.
He sprinkled in some saltier language with a message the Wolves took to heart against the Spurs.
Too often over the past two seasons this group of Wolves haven't been able to follow success with success. The latest, and one of the most glaring examples came last weekend when the Clippers trounced the Wolves after the Wolves beat the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Recent history didn't repeat itself for the Wolves, who came out and played one of their most complete games of the season in a wire-to-wire victory. The Wolves jumped out to a 20-point first quarter lead, let it slip a bit in a second quarter before refocusing in the third and early fourth to put away the Spurs. In other words, they played like pros.
"They did everything we talked about doing, being ready, being sharp and our defense, I thought, was excellent out there in the first," Wolves coach Chris Finch said. "We probably also played with the most amount of purpose on offense that we've had all season."
Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with another efficient night offensively: 25 points on 9 of 16 shooting to go with 12 rebounds as the Wolves had six players in double figures.
Towns got a big lift from the bench, which entered the night shorthanded with Naz Reid (right foot soreness) and Josh Okogie (back spasms) both out. Jaden McDaniels, Malik Beasley and Taurean Prince each played one of their best games of the season.
McDaniels has increased his production since moving to the bench and had 13 points on 6 of 8, with one of those misses being an end-of-quarter half-court heave. Beasley regained his shooting touch for a night with 15 points, making 5 of 11 three-point attempts, while Prince had 13 before he was ejected for a Flagrant-2 foul on San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV in the final seconds of the third.
But by that time the Wolves were up 18 and cruising to the finish line for a change. The Wolves had an answer for every Spurs spurt thanks in part to the bench.
"It was Jaden's best game, Taurean's best game, and Malik, maybe from a shooting standpoint, his best game," Finch said. "We just couldn't ask for it at a more opportune time."
The Wolves had one of their best shooting games, going 43% from three-point range. They outrebounded San Antonio 47-42. All the things that have been an issue all season weren't a problem Thursday night.
"It was not even us versus the Spurs, it was us versus us and see if we can back up the talk," Towns said.
The Wolves credited their strong night offensively to a zen-like approach on that end of the floor. To hear them tell it, they cleared their minds of clutter and listened to the ball concerning where it should go.
"It's all related to the same thing," Finch said. "When the ball does the work for you and you trust that the next player's going to make the same decision with the same pure mind-set, this is what happens."
Added Jarred Vanderbilt, who had six points and 12 rebounds: " The energy of the ball will tell you what to do, and I feel like the last couple games, we've been listening to the ball and it's worked out well for us."
Whatever approach it takes to get more nights like Thursday.
"We came out hungry and we came out wanting to prove a point that we can win back-to-back games," Towns said.