Leonard scores 17 as Spurs beat Wolves
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half, and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-86 on Sunday night for their fourth straight win.
Tim Duncan had 15 points and Tony Parker added 14 points and 10 assists for Western Conference-leading San Antonio. Matt Bonner also scored 14 points — including 4-for-5 shooting on 3-pointers — and Marco Belinelli had 13 points and Patty Mills added 10.
Nikola Pekovic scored 22 points to lead Minnesota. Kevin Love had 14 points and Alexey Shved added 11.
Already without Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter, the Spurs lost Danny Green early in the second quarter to a sprained finger. Minus two of their top wings, Leonard took over in the second half.
He had nine points in the third quarter, continually cutting to the basket to escape his defender for a series of dunks and layups. Leonard’s final basket of the quarter was a layup off an assist from Aron Baynes to put San Antonio up 81-71 entering the fourth.
Leonard finished 6 for 9 from the field in the second half.
Duncan was assessed a technical foul with 4:11 left in the third quarter while awaiting the first of two free throws by Love. Official Karl Lane made the call after Duncan continued protesting a non-call on his missed field-goal attempt on the previous possession.
NOTES: Ginobili missed his second straight game with tightness in his left hamstring despite a four-game break between games. … Green did not return after spraining his left index finger early in the second quarter. Making his second consecutive start after coming off the bench in 11 straight, Green missed his only field-goal attempt and had three rebounds in 9 minutes prior to the injury. … The Timberwolves have alternated wins and losses in their past eight games. They next play at home Wednesday against Sacramento. … Splitter (sprained right shoulder) missed his third straight game. Splitter is expected to miss another two to four weeks with the injury, which occurred early in the fourth quarter of San Antonio’s home victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 4.