MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Manu Ginobili scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to rally the San Antonio Spurs from 21 points down for their 12th straight victory, 113-109 in overtime over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Richard Jefferson added 19 points and Tony Parker had 18 points and six assists for the Spurs, who are an NBA-best 13-1.
Kevin Love had 32 points and 22 rebounds, and Darko Milicic had 22 points, eight rebounds and five blocks for the Timberwolves, who blew a fourth-quarter lead for the third time this season.
After a horrid shooting start to the game, the Spurs hit six 3-pointers in the fourth. Gary Neal was fouled on a 3-pointer with 16.2 seconds left in regulation and hit all three free throws to tie it at 106.
The Spurs missed 17 of their first 19 3-pointers, but Matt Bonner’s 3 from the elbow gave them their first lead of the game with 49 seconds to go in overtime.
Once again, the youngest team in the league couldn’t find out a way to close a game. The Wolves’ offense grew stagnant in the fourth quarter as the Spurs made their run, and you could feel them tighten up as the score got closer and closer.
Tim Duncan had nine points and 13 rebounds, but was thoroughly outplayed by Love and Milicic down low for most of the game.
The Spurs rolled into Target Center with the best record in the league, having won every game since a 99-90 loss to New Orleans on Oct. 30, the second game of the season.
Perhaps taking the Wolves a little too lightly early, the Spurs slumped through a listless first three quarters. They shot just 32.6 percent in the first half and missed 12 of their 13 3-pointers, an uncharacteristically poor shooting start for the team that led the NBA in 3-point shooting at 44 percent coming into the night.
Love and Milicic owned Duncan, DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter down low, combining for 29 points and 18 rebounds in the first half as the Wolves built an 18-point lead.
The breathing room didn’t help the young Wolves, who have struggled to hold leads all season. They settled for too many quick jump shots early in possessions during a particularly stagnant stretch in the third quarter that allowed the veteran Spurs to creep back into it.
Michael Beasley had an off night with 11 points and nine boards on 5-for-12 shooting and he committed three costly turnovers in the fourth quarter and overtime.
NOTES: San Antonio has won 13 in a row over the Wolves. … Milicic had seven turnovers. … Timberwolves TV analyst Jim Petersen had a mild heart attack on Wednesday and missed the game. The team said he is resting comfortably at a local hospital. … The Wolves surprised a National Guard soldier and his fiancee with a $53,000 wedding package as part of the “Big Trade Up” promotion.
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