Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/11

Game 1: Monday, November 11th
Game 2: Monday, January 27th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 12th
Game 4: Friday, March 21st

    Coverage: KENS

    7:00 PM ET, March 12, 2003

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 26 22 30 33111
    MIN 17 19 30 3399

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Duncan 18 Pts, 14 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Blk

    Min: T. Hudson 30 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Spurs halt T-Wolves' 17-game home win streak

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- For the first time since the fourth day of January, the Minnesota Timberwolves lost at home.

    Troy Hudson

    Troy Hudson, left, led Minnesota with 30 points in the loss.

    Stephen Jackson scored 22 points and Tim Duncan had 18 points and 14 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs ended the Timberwolves' 17-game home winning streak with a 111-99 victory Wednesday night.

    The Spurs led most of the way in sending the Timberwolves to their first setback at Target Center since a 105-97 loss to Utah on Jan. 4.

    MVP contenders Duncan and Kevin Garnett had almost identical stats, as Garnett scored 17 points and added 13 rebounds. But Garnett shot just 6-of-19 as the Wolves trailed by as many as 20 points.

    Duncan, meanwhile, scored 10 of his points in the first quarter as the Spurs never trailed after Minnesota scored the game's first point. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili scored 17 points each for San Antonio, which has won 17 of its last 19.

    "These past 10 games or so, we've really turned our defense up," Duncan said. "We're looking at the stretch run as our prep for the playoffs."

    Troy Hudson led Minnesota with 30 points, 20 in the third quarter. Hudson made eight consecutive shots in the quarter and almost single-handedly sliced a 20-point Spurs' lead to four.

    Hudson scored 18 points during a 22-6 run that ended with his fourth 3-pointer of the quarter, which pulled Minnesota to 70-66 with 2:04 to play.

    "We were down so much, I just wanted to create some energy for us," Hudson said. "But with a team like San Antonio, you waste so much energy coming back."

    Following a Spurs timeout, Hudson forced up two shots that missed badly, and Jackson and Parker got behind the Minnesota defense for inside baskets, igniting an 8-0 run to close the quarter.

    Speedy Claxton took over at point guard with Parker in foul trouble in the fourth quarter and scored 11 of his 13 points to keep the Spurs in control. The Wolves never got closer than 11 in the final quarter.

    "We kept our composure when they made their run," Duncan said. "We threw it right back at them."

    The Spurs swept their three-game road trip and moved within three games of Dallas for first place in the Western Conference. San Antonio has won 12 of 13 games on the road, including an 8-of-9 trip that began with a 106-95 loss at Minnesota in the teams' last meeting on Jan. 27.

    "Before those nine games, we were losing too many games on the road," Ginobili said. "We made bad plays and bad decisions. Now we're playing with a lot of confidence."

    San Antonio has crept within three games of Dallas for the best record in the Western Conference.

    The Spurs, the NBA's top team in field-goal defense at 42 percent, held the Wolves to 37 percent shooting in the first half. San Antonio made 5-of-7 3-pointers in the first half, with Ginobili hitting all three of his.

    The Wolves' only highlight of the first half was a clean block by Wally Szczerbiak of an attempted dunk by Ginobili, which brought the crowd to its feet. But even that came in the middle of a 12-1 Spurs run that put San Antonio up 41-24.

    Parker scored six of the Spurs' first 10 points in the second half to give San Antonio its biggest lead, 58-38.

    Game notes
    Spurs center David Robinson sat out his third consecutive game with lower back pain. Robinson missed both meetings with the Wolves at Target Center. ... Wolves guard Rod Strickland, who has missed the past 21 games with a groin strain, is expected to return either Friday vs. the Lakers or Sunday against Portland. Forward Joe Smith played 4 minutes after missing the past two games with a sprained ankle. ... Minnesota's 17 points in the first quarter tied its season low.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 111 99
    FGM-FGA 42-82 (.512) 41-81 (.506)
    3PM-3PA 8-18 (.444) 6-13 (.462)
    FTM-FTA 19-23 (.826) 11-16 (.688)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-42 8-32
    Assists 29 24
    Turnovers 14 14
    Steals 7 7
    Blocks 4 7
    Fast Break Points 6 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/1) 19 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 18
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3
    Troy Hudson Hudson
    Points: 30
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0