Timberwolves 106, Spurs 96

Rick Adelman was wondering how his young Minnesota Timberwolves

would handle their first taste of prosperity.

He couldn’t have been much happier after watching them thump the

San Antonio Spurs, who now find themselves knee deep in adversity

with the loss of star guard Manu Ginobili.

Kevin Love had 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead the

Timberwolves to their second win in a row, 106-96 Monday night over

the Spurs, who lost Ginobili to a broken left hand.

Luke Ridnour had 19 points and nine assists and Wes Johnson

broke out of a shooting slump with 14 points and 6-for-6 shooting

for the Timberwolves, who snapped an 18-game losing streak with a

win over Dallas on Sunday.

”You’re not satisfied with last night, you build off of it,”

said Adelman, whose Wolves scored 65 points in the first half on

the second night of a back-to-back. ”That’s what I just told them.

We’ve got two more home games on this homestand and we want to

build off it.”

Ginobili injured his shooting hand in the second quarter. The

two-time All-Star will be examined in San Antonio on Tuesday.

”It’s going to be tough for us because he was playing at an

All-Star level,” said point guard Tony Parker, who had 11 points

and nine assists. ”And now we’re going to have to have everybody

pick it up.”

Tim Duncan had 16 points and five assists and Richard Jefferson

scored 16 points for the Spurs.

The Timberwolves shot 58 percent for the game and were above 70

percent shooting midway through the third quarter.

Playing with five stitches in the index finger on his shooting

hand, Michael Beasley had 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting and Johnson

bounced back after going 3 for 13 in his previous two games.

”I was pressing,” Johnson said. ”I was trying to find my shot

moreso than letting it come to me. As I saw tonight, if I just be

patient, it’s there.”

The Spurs will get over the loss to Minnesota quickly. The loss

of Ginobili could linger for a while.

The team’s leading scorer is the emotional and fiery center of

this proud, veteran team. With Duncan getting older and having his

minutes limited to save him for the postseason, the offense

revolves around Ginobili’s perimeter shooting and slashing to the

basket.

”Manu is pretty important to us and we lost him,” Spurs coach

Gregg Popovich said. ”We’ll just have to deal with it.”

The former Sixth Man of the Year quickly walked to the locker

room after he was injured for X-rays, which revealed a broken fifth

metacarpal on his shooting hand.

”He means a lot to the team,” said James Anderson, who figures

to get a lot of the playing time in Ginobili’s absence. ”He’s one

of the biggest plusses to the team. Without him we lose a lot of

stuff, and that’s on both ends.”

Without Ginobili’s offensive punch, the Spurs simply couldn’t

keep up with Minnesota’s torrid shooting.

The Spurs have hung their hats on the defensive end for years,

building a championship foundation that let opponents know they

were going to have to work for every bucket against Duncan and Co.

Coming into the game, they held their previous two opponents to 4

for 33 on 3-pointers.

That’s why it was so startling to see the Timberwolves have such

an easy time on Monday night. They shot a scorching 67 percent from

the field in the first half, including 7 for 8 from 3-point range.

A lot of those were wide open looks for Love, who buried 3 of 4

from long range thanks to superb ball movement from Ridnour and

Ricky Rubio at the point.

The Wolves hit 12 of 21 shots from deep for the game.

Rubio, the impressive rookie from Spain, was quiet with six

points and three assists in 24 minutes, but the veteran Ridnour

more than picked up the slack by hitting seven of his 10 shots and

two of three 3-pointers.

”There’s going to be so many games this year, if you can try to

find a way to get on a run at home, it’s going to help you in the

long run,” Ridnour said. ”To be able to win two in a row against

Dallas and San Antonio, for this team, is huge.”

NOTES: Timberwolves G JJ Barea sat out the game to rest his

strained right hamstring. … Spurs G Gary Neal, who has not played

this season because of an appendectomy, has been assigned to the

D-League Austin Toros to get some practice time in before rejoining

the team. … Danny Green played a solid 17 minutes for the Spurs,

scoring nine points and playing tough defense on Rubio.