Ginobili, Spurs edge T-WolvesJan 10, 2011 - 3:45 AM San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Manu Ginobili finished with 21 points and seven rebounds to lead a balanced attack that San Antonio used to beat Minnesota, 94-91, in the opener of a home-and-home set.
Antonio McDyess and Richard Jefferson both scored 13 points for the Spurs, who have won two in a row since dropping consecutive games to New York and Boston. Tony Parker, Matt Bonner, and George Hill all had 11 points in the victory.
Kevin Love posted 18 points and 17 boards for Minnesota, which has lost four in a row. Darko Milicic added 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Luke Ridnour ended with 16 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
The game marked the third meeting between the teams this season, all of which have been close. While the Spurs have won all three, they've won by a total of 13 points and needed overtime to take a victory on November 24.
"We've had our hands full trying to get our three wins against them this year and it's going to be even harder to get that fourth," Bonner said of the next matchup, on Tuesday.
Neither team led by more than nine in Sunday's contest, which featured seven lead changes and eight times tied.
However, San Antonio led down the stretch and held a 94-86 advantage after Hill made two free throws with 3:24 to go. Milicic countered with a layup, and Ridnour drained a three with 2:02 to go, making it a one-possession game.
Both offenses struggled in the final two minutes -- together, they missed five shots and turned the ball over twice. Minnesota had a few opportunities to tie the game in the final minute, but three-pointers from Ridnour and Anthony Tolliver were off the mark as the Spurs held on.
"I've said this all along about the Spurs. They just find a way to win," Love said. "They're extremely well-coached."
Minnesota controlled the first quarter, and held a 21-12 lead after Wesley Johnson's trey with 1:11 on the clock. But the Spurs ended the frame on a six- point burst to get within three.
San Antonio moved ahead in a back-and-forth second quarter. Late in the frame, Jefferson hit a jumper and Ginobili made a three to give the Spurs a 48-42 edge, and they held a 50-44 lead at the break.
Minnesota drew even several times in the third, but never went in front, and the Spurs ended the period with an 8-1 run to take a 74-67 edge into the fourth.
The Spurs improved to 31-6. Their 31 wins through the first 37 games mark the best start in team history...Minnesota forward Michael Beasley scored two points in just 11:35 of court time...San Antonio made 21-of-25 free throws, compared to 8-of-12 for Minnesota.
- MINNESOTA: 91
SAN ANTONIO: 94
Jan 9 9:21 PM
- MINNESOTA: 67
SAN ANTONIO: 74
End of 3rd
Jan 9 8:48 PM
- MINNESOTA: 44
SAN ANTONIO: 50
Jan 9 8:06 PM
- MINNESOTA: 21
SAN ANTONIO: 18
End of 1st
Jan 9 7:35 PM
- MINNESOTA: 0
SAN ANTONIO: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Jan 9 7:11 PM
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