Duncan Dominates as Spurs Roll
San Antonio 102, Minnesota 88
SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 28 (Ticker) -- Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are getting healthier, which could have the rest of the NBA feeling ill.
Duncan scored 28 points and pulled down 16 rebounds and Ginobili added 14 points in his return from an ankle injury as the San Antonio Spurs pulled away for a 102-88 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Saturday's contest was a different story, however, as the Timberwolves hung tough for most of the game. But Duncan ultimately proved to be the difference, as he usually does when healthy.
"I felt pretty good tonight," said Duncan, who shot 11-of-24 from the field. "I hit some shots early and kind of continued from there. I made a couple of mistakes down the stretch in the fourth, including a bad turnover, but I felt pretty good tonight."
Kevin Garnett made a pair of free throws to draw Minnesota within 83-79 with 7:41 to go before Duncan made a hook shot to ignite a 15-3 run over the next 5 1/2 minutes that put away the game.
"We had 16 turnovers ... something like 18 second-chance points (allowed)," Garnett said. "When you're playing a team like this, you can't do that."
Michael Finley, Ginobili and Bruce Bowen each connected on 3-pointers in the surge for the Spurs, who held a 44-36 rebounding advantage as they improved to 21-3 at home this season.
"It was a great win out there for us tonight," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, whose team has won seven of its last eight games. "We did a good job on the boards, especially in the second half. That is good for us because we have struggled on the boards at times this season."
Ginobili, who had missed the last three games with a sprained right ankle, returned to score nine points in the fourth quarter, when the Spurs outscored the Wolves, 29-21.
"The ankle felt good, but it took a while to get going," said Ginobili, who shot 5-of-10 from the field in 20 minutes. "The more important thing is how it feels (Sunday). I was a little tentative out there because I was worrying about stepping on somebody's foot."
Tony Parker added 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting to help San Antonio improve to 3-0 against Minnesota this season.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves lost for the fourth time in five games but continued to receive production from two of the key pieces acquired in Thursday's trade with Boston.
Ricky Davis followed up a strong debut Friday with 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting. Mark Blount, who also came over from the Celtics, chipped in 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
"I just wanted to establish something down low first tonight," Blount said. "On defense, I tried to crash the boards and help us get out on the break. I'm just trying to play the game hard and get comfortable."
Garnett collected 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota, which did itself no favors at the foul line by connecting on only 14-of-23.
"I see the difference in our team," Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. "The speed, the quickness, the guys in attack mode. All of those things are things I like to see on our team. I liked to see the guys being aggressive and getting to the free-throw line. I really like the Ricky Davis-Kevin Garnett combo out there."