Spurs Fall to Timberwolves in Minnesota

Gameday: Spurs @ Timberwolves - 1.2.12

Spurs @ Timberwolves
January 2, 2012
Target Center // Minneapolis
San Antonio Spurs (3-2)
Minnesota Timberolves (2-3)

Kevin Love
Points: 24
Reb: 15
FG: 8-15
T. Duncan
Points: 16
Ast: 5
FG: 7-12

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Kevin Love had 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to their second win in a row, 106-96 Monday night over the San Antonio Spurs, who lost star guard Manu 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. Ginobili injured his shooting hand in the second quarter. The two-time All-Star will be examined in San Antonio on Tuesday.

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. 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 basket.

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. 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 rout them 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.

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.

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