San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili (20), of Argentina, drives between Minnesota Timberwolves', from left, Dante Cunningham, Andrei Kirilenko, of Russia, Alexey Shved and Nikola Pekovic, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Sunday, January 13, 2013 10:07 pm
Parker leads Spurs past Timberwolves, 106-88
By RAUL DOMINGUEZAssociated Press
Gary Neal was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers in scoring 15 points for San Antonio, which beat Minnesota at home for the 16th straight time. Tim Duncan added 14 points and nine rebounds and Tiago Splitter had 10 points. Manu Ginobili scored 12 points in the first half before leaving with a strained left hamstring.
J.J. Barea scored 15 points, Nikola Pekovic had 14 and Luke Ridnour 13 for the Timberwolves.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was ejected with 7:22 remaining in the game following a double technical for arguing a foul called against Splitter on Barea. The ejection sparked an 11-0 run for the Spurs, including a dunk and two reverse layups by Splitter.
The Spurs started 3 for 9 from the field with two turnovers in falling behind 16-7. Following a timeout, San Antonio went on a 13-1 run as Minnesota missed 11 shots in a 5-minute drought.
The Timberwolves ended the skid on two free throws by Ricky Rubio, despite replays showing Boris Diaw had a clean block with no body contact on the play.
Ginobili, who had six points in the run, did not return after straining his left hamstring in the final minute of the first half. He also had five assists in 12:29.
The Spurs attacked the basket to open the second half as Kawhi Leonard had a dunk and dropped in a floater, and Duncan and Parker had layups in an 11-0 run.
Dante Cunningham then led an 8-0 run that pulled Minnesota to 66-62.
Neal scored eight points in the opening 3 minutes of the final quarter to extend San Antonio's lead to 88-75.
Popovich was able to limit his starter's minutes early in the second quarter, to the point Duncan playfully walked to the scorer's table to check in. Popovich grabbed him by the front of his warm-up shirt and walked the former MVP back to the bench. The frivolity lasted less than a minute, as Duncan re-entered the game after back-to-back steals by Minnesota cut San Antonio's lead to 35-32.
NOTES: The Spurs are 16-2 at home, for the league's best winning percentage at .889. Their victory total is tied for third with Miami (16-3) behind Oklahoma City (18-3) and the Los Angeles Clippers (18-4). ... Minnesota F Kevin Love (fractured hand), G Brandon Roy (knee), G Chase Budinger (knee) and Malcolm Lee (knee) did not play. ... San Antonio has had 12 different starters this season, the most of any NBA team. Ginobili is the only active player on the Spurs roster who has not started a game this season. Cory Joseph and James Anderson have not started, but both have primarily played in the D-Leaague this season. ... Luke Ridnour, Alexey Shved and Dante Cunningham have played every game for the Timberwolves this season. ... The Spurs' longest home winning streak is 22 games, which they set from Dec. 3, 2010 to March 4, 2011.