Page last updated on Sun Mar 29 13:22:10 EDT 2015
12/14/2013 12:35 AM EST
Parker helps Spurs keep 'Wolves at bay 117-110
SAN ANTONIO 117, MINNESOTA 110
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Having no answer for Kevin Love for
three-and-a-half quarters, the San Antonio Spurs made Minnesota
solve their Big 3. The Timberwolves failed.
Tony Parker had 29 points to offset Love's season-high 42 points
and San Antonio rallied for a 117-110 victory over Minnesota on
Manu Ginobili had 20 points and nine assists, fueling a 37-21
fourth quarter that helped the Spurs avoid their second home
loss this season. Tim Duncan added 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Duncan, Parker and Ginobili have won three NBA titles together
and are the active leaders for wins as a trio. That experience
paid off against the Timberwolves, who have not made the
playoffs since 2005.
"It's got to show up somewhere," Duncan said of the trio's
experience. "If you want to call it that, it is what it is. We
know what's going on out there, especially when it gets down to
crunch time and things really count. We've made plays long
enough that we know where each other is going to be."
Ginobili and Parker combined to score San Antonio's final points
in a 26-12 closing run, and teamed with Duncan to dish out all
but one of the team's final five assists and seven of its last
"We know what they're capable of and when you get them into a
two- or three-minute game, they're incredible," Love said.
"They've played together for a very long time, but they just
made plays and we missed shots that we usually make."
Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and Boris Diaw and Marco Belinelli
had 12 points apiece for San Antonio.
Nikola Pekovic had 18 points, Ricky Rubio added 15 points and
Kevin Martin had 14 for Minnesota, which had won two straight.
Ginobili scored 16 points in the final quarter, helping San
Antonio overcome a lethargic start. His reverse layup with 2
minutes remaining extended San Antonio's lead to 111-108.
"Manu is playing great," Parker said. "He's got his legs. He
looks like he's fresh and he's making his shots. In the fourth
quarter, he was very aggressive. That was big for us."
Parker was just as big, making his only 3-point attempt of the
quarter while scoring 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
"That's why he is one of the best in the league, and that's why
he almost won (the NBA title) by himself last year with the
Spurs," Rubio said. "Right now, he's one of the top two or top
three point guards in the league."
San Antonio needed the trio's contributions to offset Love. He
was 8 for 9 on 3-pointers and had 14 rebounds.
He had 26 points after halftime, nearly besting his previous
season-high of 34 in the second half alone.
"He shot the ball incredibly," Duncan said. "He made some tough
ones and just kept on going. Boris did a great job in the last
six minutes of really getting onto him and making him do
something else. It changed the game a little bit for us."
Love's final points came on a pair of free throw with 6 minutes
remaining and his last basket was on a dunk 41 seconds earlier.
Leonard scored nine straight points midway through the third
quarter, keeping San Antonio in the game while Minnesota got hot
behind the 3-point line.
The Timberwolves were 6 for 12 on 3s in the third, making three
consecutive attempts to take a 79-75 lead with 4 minutes left.
Love had the opening and closing 3s in the run, finishing with
19 points in the third quarter. He was 5 for 6 on 3s in the
period, and 7 for 9 overall as Diaw, Jeff Ayres and all the help
defense the Spurs provided failed to slow him.
"He is a great player," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "When
you can play inside and outside the way he does, he is a tough
cover. I think we could have done a better job. I thought we
made some really fundamental errors in guarding him, but, be
that as it may, he is a monster."
NOTES: Spurs centers Tiago Splitter (tightness left calf) and
Aron Baynes (calf strain) both sat out. ... Minnesota F Chase
Budinger (knee surgery) missed the game, as did C Ronny Turiaf
(fractured right elbow). ... Entering Friday's game, San Antonio
leads the league in assists, averaging 25.0 per game. ...
Entering Friday's game, a quarter of Corey Brewer's 114 baskets
for Minnesota this season had come on dunks. He is shooting 45
percent from the field.
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