Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/30

Game 1: Friday, November 30th
Game 2: Saturday, January 12th
Game 3: Thursday, February 21st
Game 4: Friday, March 28th

Timberwolves 88

(5-31, 1-18 away)

Spurs 105

(24-11, 18-3 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    7:30 PM ET, January 12, 2008

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 24 21 21 2288
    SA 24 20 31 30105

    Top Performers

    Min: R. Gomes 21 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    SA: M. Ginobili 22 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 5 Stl

    Spurs end two-game losing streak

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs have won three NBA championships in the last five seasons in part because don't underestimate their opponents.

    And while Manu Ginobili said the Spurs gave the Minnesota Timberwolves, with the worst record in the Western Conference, their due respect on Saturday night, he still thought they should have played better against them.

    "Actually, the last probably 10-15 games I felt like we could have played better," said Ginobili, who had 22 points in the Spurs' 105-88 win. "We are just not playing well. ... We didn't play sharp."

    The Spurs were trailing Minnesota, which has lost two in a row, nine of its last 10 and 14 straight on the road, at halftime -- albeit by just one point.

    Tony Parker had 21 points and Tim Duncan added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs, who snapped a two-game losing streak and got coach Gregg Popovich his 600th regular-season victory.

    "No," was all an unimpressed Popovich said when asked if win No. 600 felt different than win No. 599.

    Al Jefferson led the Timberwolves with 24 points. Ryan Gomes added 21 points and nine rebounds and Rashad McCants scored 17 points.

    After their blowout loss to Houston the night before, when the Wolves were down by more than 30 points at halftime, Saturday's extra effort was welcomed by the team.

    "It was an improvement tonight, but it's tough to lose games," Minnesota center Michael Doleac said.

    Parker also had eight assists for the Spurs and Finley scored 11 points.

    Craig Smith scored 12 points for Minnesota.

    "For the most part, through the tough times we stayed in it," Minnesota coach Randy Wittman said. "It doesn't matter if it's San Antonio, or who it is, we just have got to make sure we've got the consistent effort."

    The Spurs trailed 45-44 at halftime before they took the lead for good with an 11-2 run to start the third capped by a 3-pointer from Michael Finley.

    Ginobili, who scored nine points in the quarter and is still playing with a splint on his injured left index finger, pushed the Spurs' lead to 67-57 with 3:30 to play when he stole the ball from Gomes and followed Jacque Vaughn's miss with a layup.

    San Antonio also gained the edge in rebounding, and Matt Bonner's long jumper put the Spurs up 75-62, with 35 seconds left in the quarter.

    "I think ultimately you look at it as an entire picture," Vaughn said of the first-half struggles. "You want to continue to keep pressing in the sense of making effort plays, making energy plays and we were able to do those things in the second half."

    The Timberwolves got within five early in the fourth and within seven with 7:10 to play, but the Spurs pulled away behind a bucket each from Duncan and Parker and five free throws that gave them a 94-80 advantage with 4:07 left.

    They soon extended their lead to 18 points, their biggest of the night, for the third time off a pair of free throws from Francisco Elson with 1:54 to go.

    The Timberwolves came out with a bit more energy early. They were tied with San Antonio at 24-all after one quarter, when they were shooting nearly 60 percent.

    By halftime they were up one and were outrebounding the Spurs 20-15. Minnesota's early performance was in stark contrast to the night before, when they were down by more than 30 points at halftime.

    Jefferson was largely responsible, scoring 14 points in the first half.

    Game notes

    The Timberwolves have lost 16 of their last 18 games overall. ... San Antonio, which has several military installations in the area, paid thanks to service members with video tributes during the game. ... Wittman got a technical foul with 4:07 to go in the fourth quarter. ... The Spurs hit just 22-of-35 from the foul line. Minnesota went 12-of-13. ... The Spurs hit 11 3-pointers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 88 105
    FGM-FGA 36-74 (.486) 36-71 (.507)
    3PM-3PA 4-16 (.250) 11-21 (.524)
    FTM-FTA 12-13 (.923) 22-35 (.629)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-15 11-23
    Assists 20 23
    Turnovers 21 17
    Steals 7 15
    Blocks 4 8
    Fast Break Points 14 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (3/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 5 18

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Ryan Gomes Gomes
    Points: 21
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Manu Ginobili Ginobili
    Points: 22
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 0