NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at San Antonio
(Thursday, December 23rd)
Final Score: San Antonio 96, Minnesota 82
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Manu Ginobili netted 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while Tim Duncan recorded 19 points and 10 rebounds, as San Antonio rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to earn a 96-82 victory over Minnesota at the SBC Center.
Tony Parker also had 19 points and dished out eight assists for the Spurs, who outscored the Timberwolves 31-17 in the fourth quarter to register their fifth win in six outings.
Wally Szczerbiak finished with 22 points and Troy Hudson added 14 off the bench for Minnesota, which fell for the third time in four games. Kevin Garnett compiled his 23rd double-double of the year with 15 points and 10 boards.
The teams were deadlocked at 65-65 after three periods before San Antonio asserted itself in the fourth. After building a three-point edge with nine minutes to go, Ginobili ignited a 12-6 run with a three-pointer as the Spurs began to pull away. Duncan scored the last five points of the spurt, including a jumper with 5:39 to go which gave the hosts an 84-75 lead.
Ginobili made 4-of-6 attempts from long distance on the night.
"Sometimes Xs and Os are relative," said Ginobili. "If you are aggressive and show them that it won't be easy, I think that's where the game changed."
The Timberwolves failed to make a basket over the final four-plus minutes and San Antonio put the game out of reach when Ginobili followed Bruce Bowen's trey at the 3:10 mark with a basket which made the score 92-80 heading into the last two minutes.
The Spurs trailed 51-43 at the half but scored the first eight points of the third quarter to pull even. Another 8-0 spurt later in the period erased a three-point Minnesota advantage and staked San Antonio to a 65-60 lead with 48 seconds left. However, Trenton Hassell's bucket and a three-pointer by Fred Hoiberg with seven seconds on the clock tied the contest after 36 minutes.
Minnesota was up 29-26 at the conclusion of the first quarter and built a 12- point cushion early in the second. Hudson poured in the first eight points of an 11-2 spurt to start the stanza as the T-Wolves went in front 40-28 with 9:26 to go in the half.
Parker was fouled after making a layup with 1:08 remaining before intermission and converted the bonus shot to bring the Spurs within 47-43. However, Garnett scored four points in the final minute to send Minnesota into the locker room with an eight-point bulge.
"I take it upon myself to get guys shots and get guys in a rhythm," said Garnett, who scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds. "Maybe I sacrificed a little bit too much tonight."
Minnesota's Latrell Sprewell, who sat out Tuesday's 107-97 loss at Cleveland with a sprained left foot, returned to the lineup but scored just four points in 30 minutes...The Timberwolves have now lost four straight on the road...Minnesota has dropped six of its last nine meetings with the Spurs in San Antonio.
12/24 00:21:15 ET