Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 12/13

Game 1: Wednesday, December 13th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 3rd
Game 3: Friday, April 13th

Timberwolves 82

(10-10, 4-7 away)

Spurs 95

(17-6, 8-3 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    7:00 PM ET, December 13, 2006

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 28 28 15 1182
    SA 26 22 25 2295

    Top Performers

    Minnesota: K. Garnett 19 Pts, 12 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    San Antonio: T. Duncan 24 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Spurs hold Wolves to 26 after break to win going away

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Gregg Popovich politely asked the San Antonio Spurs to turn up the defensive effort in the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

    Elias Says
    Minnesota Timberwolves
    The Timberwolves led at San Antonio, 54-38, with a minute and a half left in the first half before the Spurs rallied for a 95-82 victory. It marked the second time this season, and the sixth time over the last season and a half, that Minnesota lost a game which it had led by at least 16 points. No other team in the NBA has suffered as many losses since the beginning of the 2005-06 season in games in which it enjoyed leads of that size.

    • For more Elias Says, click here

    They listened to their coach, holding the Timberwolves to a season-low 26 points over the final 24 minutes in a 95-82 victory.

    "I just asked the guys if it wasn't that much of a problem or an inconvenience if they picked up the pressure and played a little more aggressively," Popovich said, recounting his halftime speech. "That might be a good idea."

    The Timberwolves committed 17 turnovers in the second half against the suddenly defensive-minded Spurs.

    "He asked us, 'Please, guys. It's a great opportunity to go play harder," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "He's always so polite."

    Tim Duncan, who said "we really appreciate it and responded to" Popovich's talk, scored 24 points and Tony Parker added 23 for San Antonio.

    Kevin Garnett and Mark Blount each had 19 points for Minnesota. Randy Foye added 15 points for the Timberwolves and Garnett grabbed 12 rebounds.

    "I thought we had an excellent game in the first half," Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. "In the second half they turned up the juice and we didn't respond. ... That is the best pressure I've seen all year."

    Still, Duncan saw the glass half-empty.

    "More important than the defensive effort in the second half was the lack of defensive effort in the first half," he said. "We were horrible in the first half. ... We put ourselves in a hole."

    Aside from being plagued by turnovers, Minnesota went 1-of-11 from 3-point range. And Garnett only scored two points -- both free throws -- in the second half.

    "They were double-teaming him. Crowding him," Casey said. "They did a great job of getting the ball out of our offensive point guards' hands."

    The Spurs used a 10-2 run to get within 56-48 at halftime. More than halfway through the third quarter Minnesota had scored just one point and the Spurs were within one.

    A 3-pointer by Brent Barry gave the Spurs a 70-69 lead and a 3 by Parker made it 73-71.

    The 15 points scored by Minnesota in the third quarter were a season low, but the mark dropped 12 minutes later.

    The Timberwolves had scored just five points three-fourths of the way through the final period. Parker and Duncan combined for 12 points in the quarter, one more than Minnesota managed in registering a new season low.

    "We live and learn from these things," Garnett said. "I'd rather it happen now than later."

    Game notes

    The Spurs have won six straight home games against Minnesota. ... The Timberwolves and Spurs meet again Jan. 3 in Minnesota. ... The Timberwolves are back at .500 (10-10). ... The Spurs are now 17-6. ... Minnesota G Mike James fouled out in the fourth quarter with just four points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 82 95
    FGM-FGA 33-70 (.471) 36-73 (.493)
    3PM-3PA 1-11 (.091) 8-15 (.533)
    FTM-FTA 15-20 (.750) 15-18 (.833)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-39 6-32
    Assists 18 18
    Turnovers 23 15
    Steals 5 13
    Blocks 3 3
    Fast Break Points 10 23
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (1/0) 16 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 16 15

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 19
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 24
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2