Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/30

Game 1: Friday, November 30th
Spurs106Final
Timberwolves91
Game 2: Saturday, January 12th
Timberwolves88Final
Spurs105
Game 3: Thursday, February 21st
Spurs100Final
Timberwolves99
Game 4: Friday, March 28th
Timberwolves84Final
Spurs99

Spurs 106

(14-3, 5-3 away)

Timberwolves 91

(2-12, 1-7 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    7:00 PM ET, November 30, 2007

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 22 26 26 32106
    MIN 24 24 32 1191

    Top Performers

    San Antonio: M. Ginobili 31 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl

    Minnesota: A. Jefferson 23 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Blk

    Spurs keep Wolves mired in slump behind Ginobili's 31

    MINNEAPOLIS -- San Antonio has learned to maximize Manu Ginobili's impact by making him a substitute after having started for much of his career.

    This is the very definition of the Spurs, who have dominated the league with four titles in the last eight years by finding the right role for every player.

    Ginobili scored a season-high 31 points with 7-for-9 shooting from 3-point range, and the Spurs stormed past the fledgling Minnesota Timberwolves for a 106-91 victory on Friday night -- closing the game with a staggering 40-11 run.

    "With a young team, it takes a while to build that confidence, and know what each other is doing on the court, and know where people are, who defers to who, what the pecking order is,'' San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "That takes time. We're older than dirt. We figured that out a long time ago.''

    Al Jefferson had 23 points and 11 rebounds, reserve Craig Smith added 10 points, Mark Madsen provided his usual 12 minutes of energy underneath, and all three had a hand in limiting Tim Duncan.

    Duncan, however, finished with a savvy 20 points and 14 rebounds after making only two field goals over the first 31 minutes.

    "Today, I was really good with that shot,'' said Ginobili, who is the only player in the NBA averaging more than 18 points and less than 30 minutes per game. "They made a decision to double Tim, and so that's where I had open shots. I've always been working on my 3-point shot, especially to make them come hard and then use my penetration.''

    Ginobili went 11-for-16 from the field, Tony Parker added 17 points, and Bruce Bowen made three 3-pointers for San Antonio (14-3), which didn't lead until early in the fourth quarter.

    "It stings. It hurts. It hurts, because we put so much into preparing for the game and going out there and doing all the right things and just not finishing it off,'' said Sebastian Telfair, who had 17 points despite some erratic play at point guard with the Wolves (2-12) hurting at that position.

    Randy Foye has been out all season and might be sidelined for another month, and Rashad McCants was a surprise scratch because of a sore right knee.

    Then Marko Jaric, who had replaced Foye as the starter, sprained his right foot and left after the first quarter. Coach Randy Wittman said McCants showed up before the game and was hurting. He said Jaric's injury is "probably not good.''

    The final 85 seconds of the third quarter were devastating for Minnesota. After Greg Buckner subbed for Telfair at the point, San Antonio closed with an 8-0 run that grew to 14-0 on consecutive 3-pointers by Bowen and Brent Barry to start the fourth.

    The Wolves had their biggest lead, 80-66, before that spurt and didn't fall behind until Duncan's free throw with 9:05 remaining made it 83-82.

    "Teams are made up of human beings,'' Popovich said. "No matter how you slice it, teams that aren't playing well always come up with victories against good teams for that very reason. You need to guard against that throughout the season.''

    It was the first time Duncan and the Spurs played Minnesota without Kevin Garnett, after a series of sometimes-testy, always-competitive matchups between two of the league's premier power forwards.

    Madsen drew a foul on Duncan with an Oscar-worthy flop following a light forearm to the chest in the first quarter in front of San Antonio's bench, angering Popovich to the point of drawing a technical foul.

    In the third, Madsen was called for his fourth personal foul for some rough stuff around the basket involving Duncan, who got mad and shouted an expletive at Madsen. Madsen walked away with his back turned, and Duncan was whistled for a technical.

    Game notes


    Rookie forward Corey Brewer has not been much of a factor for the Timberwolves since they launched their rebuilding project. Wittman said before the game that the seventh overall draft pick has been "tight'' offensively while learning the nuances of the NBA style. ... Spurs veteran Robert Horry was on the active list for the first time this season, but he didn't play. ... Foye is still relegated to light jogging and running on an underwater treadmill while recovering from a stress reaction in his left kneecap. Foye is scheduled for another CT scan on Dec. 10, when a timetable for his return could be more clear. ... San Antonio has won 11 of the last 14 games against Minnesota and is 54-23 overall. The Wolves have not won a season series from the Spurs since 1999-2000.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SA
    MIN
    Points 106 91
    FGM-FGA 40-76 (.526) 37-81 (.457)
    3PM-3PA 12-24 (.500) 6-14 (.429)
    FTM-FTA 14-19 (.737) 11-15 (.733)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-19 6-19
    Assists 26 14
    Turnovers 14 15
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 2 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 13 (4/0) 25 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 15 14

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Minnesota
    Manu Ginobili Ginobili
    Points: 31
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Al Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 23
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3