Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/15

Game 1: Thursday, December 15th
Game 2: Friday, January 6th
Game 3: Saturday, January 28th
Game 4: Sunday, April 16th

Timberwolves 88

(20-22, 7-14 away)

Spurs 102

(34-10, 21-3 home)

    Coverage: KRRT

    7:30 PM ET, January 28, 2006

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 18 24 25 2188
    SA 19 28 26 29102

    Top Performers

    Min: K. Garnett 23 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Blk

    SA: T. Duncan 28 Pts, 16 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Duncan, Spurs use late run to put away Timberwolves

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Manu Ginobili needed three quarters Saturday to warm up in his first game back from an ankle sprain. By the fourth, he was ready to play.

    Ginobili made all four of his shots in the period, two of them during a decisive 13-1 run, and the San Antonio Spurs pulled away for a 102-88 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    "In the beginning I was scared to step on somebody or go to the basket," said Ginobili, who finished with 14 points in 20 minutes in his return after spending the last three games on the inactive list. "That's why I was a little slow and hesitant."

    Ginobili was sidelined last Sunday in Miami when he turned his right ankle after stepping on Udonis Haslem's foot while driving to the basket. He has missed 13 games since Dec. 1 with injuries to his right foot and ankle.

    "It's great to have him back in the starting lineup, to see him out there in the fourth quarter really take over a game and get back to the way he used to play," said Tim Duncan, who led San Antonio with 28 points and 16 rebounds.

    Minnesota got within 85-81 on a pair of free throws by Eddie Griffin with more than 6 minutes left in the game.

    "It was a close game there for a while," Minnesota's Kevin Garnett said. "Then Ginobili came in and captured some momentum back for them and they pulled away."

    Michael Finley started San Antonio's run with a 3-pointer and Tony Parker (25 points) made a jump-hook.

    Ginobili hit a runner followed by a long 3-pointer and Bruce Bowen added a corner 3 to make it 98-82 with 2:21 left.

    The Spurs' defense stepped up during the key stretch, allowing the Timberwolves only four shots and forcing two turnovers.

    Garnett led Minnesota with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Ricky Davis contributed 20 points and Mark Blount 18 in their second game as Timberwolves after being traded by Boston.

    Davis and Blount combined to play 74 minutes, and Justin Reed, also part of the deal that sent Wally Szczerbiak to the Celtics, played 9.

    "I see the difference in our team -- the speed, the quickness, the guys in attack mode," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "I liked our scrap, I liked our fight."

    Marko Jaric (13 points) hit his first three shots, one of them a 3-pointer, as the Timberwolves took their biggest lead of the game at 12-7. San Antonio made only two of its first 10 shots, both of them by Duncan.

    The Spurs took a 19-18 lead with 25 seconds left in the first when Nazr Mohammed threw a court-length pass to Finley for a dunk.

    After a tip-in by Blount narrowed San Antonio's lead to four, the Spurs went on a 10-3 run to build up a 40-29 advantage. Duncan made a pair of short jumpers and Robert Horry, who missed the previous five games with an abdominal strain, hit a corner 3-pointer.

    San Antonio still led by 10 late in the second, but the Timberwolves scored the final five points of the quarter -- capped by a 17-footer by Davis with 1.9 seconds -- to make 47-42 at halftime.

    Minnesota made nine of its first 14 shots in the third, but the Spurs kept their lead.

    Blount made a layup and a jumper to pull the Timberwolves within 62-60 with about 3 minutes remaining in the period.

    San Antonio then got baskets from Mohammed and Brent Barry, and Parker drove under Garnett and Blount for a layup to make it 73-65. Parker scored 10 points in the period.

    Game Notes
    The Spurs will play their next eight games on the road to make room for two weeks of rodeo at the AT&T Center. The next home game is Feb. 21 against Seattle. ... Horry left the game early in the fourth when his abdomen tightened up. ... Minnesota is now 20-22, including 7-14 on the road. ... The Timberwolves were 2-for-7 on 3-pointers, one of them by Garnett. They are 13-for-48 (27 percent) on 3-pointers in their last six games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 88 102
    FGM-FGA 36-72 (.500) 39-83 (.470)
    3PM-3PA 2-7 (.286) 6-13 (.462)
    FTM-FTA 14-23 (.609) 18-28 (.643)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-36 17-44
    Assists 12 17
    Turnovers 16 10
    Steals 5 6
    Blocks 8 5
    Fast Break Points 8 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 5 16

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 23
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 28
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2