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Tim Tops in Texas
SAN ANTONIO, April 21 (AP) -- Tim Duncan hit the biggest shot of the game for San Antonio, while Minnesota turned to Dean Garrett -- not Kevin Garnett -- late in the fourth quarter.

Duncan had 33 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 87-82 in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Saturday.

Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan gets hacked inside by Reggie Slater.
AP Photos
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"Tim came out with guns blazing tonight," said David Robinson, who added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs. "There's nobody that can guard him."

Duncan's 15-foot bank shot over Garrett with 12.7 seconds remaining all but sealed the win for San Antonio, which overcame a poor third quarter and shut down Garnett in the fourth.

"They hit their shots down the stretch and we missed ours, even though we had some good looks," said Terrell Brandon, who had 16 points.

Game 2 is Monday night at the Alamodome.

Garnett did not attempt a shot over the final six minutes, although he was credited with a field goal when Duncan inadvertently tipped the ball in the wrong basket with 7.4 seconds left. The Wolves quickly fouled Antonio Daniels, who iced the victory by making two free throws.

Garnett, who led the Timberwolves with 25 points, later said he had a cramp in his leg.

"His legs were pretty dead," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "He really had little in his legs to get any shots off. He turned down a lot of shots. He made a lot of extra passes to other guys."

Garrett ended up taking Minnesota's biggest shots -- a jumper that missed with 1:16 left and another that missed with 38 seconds left.

In between, Robinson grabbed an offensive rebound on Anderson's missed 3-pointer and followed up with a dunk.

David Robinson
David Robinson rips the ball from Wally Szczerbiak and slams it in the fourth:
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"If it weren't for a couple of crucial mistakes at the end of this ballgame, we could have won this one," Garrett said. "This team didn't beat us, we beat ourselves."

After Duncan hit his bank shot to make it 85-80, Sam Mitchell drove the lane and clanged a shot off the backboard. The rebound bounced in off Duncan's hand, and Garnett got credit because he was the closest Minnesota player.

"We definitely see the Spurs as beatable," Garnett said. "We were right there. We just let it slip through our fingers."

Both Garnett and Brandon, who twisted his ankle while taking the ball downcourt late in the fourth, said they would play Monday.

Brandon missed four games in November after spraining his left ankle.

"No matter what, I'm ready for Monday," he said.

After being down 51-37 at halftime, the Timberwolves started the third quarter with a 14-4 rally capped by Brandon's fast-break layup and Anthony Peeler's 10-foot jumper to make it 55-53.

They were able to grab the lead for the first time since the opening period when Wally Szczerbiak scored six straight points (two 7-foot jumpers and two free throws) to close the third quarter ahead 65-63.

"We made a lot of mistakes, especially in the transition defense," Robinson said. "Their team is capable of running and getting some easy buckets, so we've got to do a better job at that."

Derek Anderson added 12 points for the Spurs. In the first half, though, he couldn't seem to complete a pass. Some landed nowhere near a teammate, and he was responsible for five of the Spurs' 11 first-half turnovers.

Garnett picked up a technical foul for comments he made after responding to Duncan's 7-foot jumper with one of his own.

"I don't know who he was talking to -- it doesn't really matter," Duncan said. "He got excited. He made a great play and he showed his excitement."

Duncan said the comments couldn't be repeated on camera.

Notes: Duncan scored 16 points in the first quarter. He had 10 rebounds in the first half. ... Duncan and Robinson, the only frontcourt duo in the league averaging more than two blocks per game, each had two in the first half. ... Robinson and Anderson were scoreless in the third quarter after scoring seven and five points, respectively, in the first half. ... Brandon wore bright, electric blue shoes with his black, green and white uniform.

 
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