Timberwolves beat Spurs for 2nd straight win
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
”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.