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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, December 23rd (All times eastern)

Minnesota Timberwolves (15-9) at San Antonio Spurs (20-6), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Two of the best teams in the Western Conference square off this evening when the San Antonio Spurs welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to the SBC Center.

San Antonio, though, comes into tonight's contest on a losing note after dropping a 93-87 decision to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday at the TD Waterhouse Centre.

Tim Duncan paced the Spurs with 24 points, while Tony Parker finished with 18 points, seven boards and five assists for San Antonio, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Manu Ginobili chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

Duncan also missed four of six free throws as San Antonio shot a season-worst 50 percent (13-of-26) from the line. The 13 free throws also represented a season low. Over the Spurs' last three games, they have shot less than 55 percent (41-of-75) from the charity stripe.

San Antonio, which will be starting a three-game homestand tonight, is 11-1 at home this season.

Minnesota, meanwhile, also comes into tonight's tilt on a losing note after falling to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 107-97, on Tuesday at Gund Arena.

Kevin Garnett compiled 26 points and 13 boards for the Timberwolves, who have dropped two of three. Sam Cassell and Troy Hudson finished with 19 and 17 points, respectively, in the setback.

Garnett has recorded double-doubles in 22 of Minnesota's 24 contests.

Trenton Hassell added 13 points while filling in for Latrell Sprewell, who sat out the contest after spraining his left foot Friday in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Sprewell is expected to be sidelined up to a week.

The Timberwolves, who will be wrapping up a two-game road trip tonight, have dropped three straight on the road and are 8-6 away from home this season.

San Antonio has split its last 20 matchups with Minnesota, but has dropped three of five and four of the last seven meetings. The T-Wolves, though have lost five of eight and six of their last 10 in San Antonio.

12/23 10:07:27 ET

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