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Minnesota at San Antonio

Spurs 95, Timberwolves 82

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN ANTONIO -- Gregg Popovich politely asked the San Antonio Spurs to turn up the defensive effort in the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

They listened to their coach, holding the Timberwolves to a season-low 26 points over the final 24 minutes in a 95-82 victory.

"I just asked the guys if it wasn't that much of a problem or an inconvenience if they picked up the pressure and played a little more aggressively," Popovich said, recounting his halftime speech. "That might be a good idea."

The Timberwolves committed 17 turnovers in the second half against the suddenly defensive-minded Spurs.

"He asked us, 'Please, guys. It's a great opportunity to go play harder,'" Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "He's always so polite."

Tim Duncan, who said "we really appreciate it and responded to" Popovich's talk, scored 24 points and Tony Parker added 23 for San Antonio.

Kevin Garnett and Mark Blount each had 19 points for Minnesota. Randy Foye added 15 points for the Timberwolves and Garnett grabbed 12 rebounds.

"I thought we had an excellent game in the first half," Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. "In the second half they turned up the juice and we didn't respond. ... That is the best pressure I've seen all year."

Still, Duncan saw the glass half-empty.

"More important than the defensive effort in the second half was the lack of defensive effort in the first half," he said. "We were horrible in the first half. ... We put ourselves in a hole."

Aside from being plagued by turnovers, Minnesota went 1-of-11 from 3-point range. And Garnett only scored two points -- both free throws -- in the second half.

"They were double-teaming him. Crowding him," Casey said. "They did a great job of getting the ball out of our offensive point guards' hands."

The Spurs used a 10-2 run to get within 56-48 at halftime. More than halfway through the third quarter Minnesota had scored just one point and the Spurs were within one.

A 3-pointer by Brent Barry gave the Spurs a 70-69 lead and a 3 by Parker made it 73-71.

The 15 points scored by Minnesota in the third quarter were a season low, but the mark dropped 12 minutes later.

The Timberwolves had scored just five points three-fourths of the way through the final period. Parker and Duncan combined for 12 points in the quarter, one more than Minnesota managed in registering a new season low.

"We live and learn from these things," Garnett said. "I'd rather it happen now than later."

Notes

The Spurs have won six consecutive home games against Minnesota. ... The Timberwolves and Spurs meet again Jan. 3 in Minnesota. ... The Timberwolves are back at .500 (10-10). ... The Spurs are now 17-6. ... Minnesota G Mike James fouled out in the fourth quarter with just four points.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Scoreboard
Minnesota (10-10) 2828151182
San Antonio (17-6) «2622252295
MIN:K. Garnett 19 Pts
MIN:K. Garnett 12 Reb
MIN:R. Foye 7 Ast
SA:T. Duncan 24 Pts
SA:F. Elson 7 Reb
SA:T. Parker 6 Ast
Players of the Game
San AntonioMinnesota

T. Parker

K. Garnett
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
234619125
Minnesota
K. Garnett, PF416-157-9125019
M. Blount, C418-133-480019
R. Davis, SG373-80-06226
T. Hassell, SF352-40-04114
M. James, PG281-72-22264
M. Jaric, PG264-80-01128
R. Foye, PG206-92-217315
C. Smith, PF123-51-35007
E. Griffin, PF10-10-00000
T. Hudson, PGDid Not Play
M. Madsen, CDid Not Play
B. Wright, SGDid Not Play
J. Reed, SFDid Not Play
R. McCants, SGDid Not Play
Totals 33-7015-2039181482
 47.1%75.0% 
San Antonio
T. Duncan, PF3611-182-253224
M. Ginobili, SG343-84-422112
T. Parker, PG3410-202-246223
B. Bowen, SF283-31-15039
F. Elson, C273-61-27247
B. Barry, SG192-42-30007
F. Oberto, PF162-30-05234
M. Finley, SG140-20-00000
R. Horry, PF140-30-03110
B. Udrih, PG101-30-00003
J. Vaughn, PG60-13-41203
M. Bonner, PF21-20-00003
E. Williams, PFDid Not Play
J. Butler, CDid Not Play
J. White, GDid Not Play
Totals 36-7315-1832181695
 49.3%83.3% 
Other Games
Char 101 Final
Cle 104
Pho 99 Final
Mia 89
Det 90 Final
Ind 101
Bos 101 Final
Phi 81
Den 91 Final
Wash 120
Tor 91 Final
Orl 84
Mil 95 Final
NJ 108
Atl 82 Final
NY 94
Port 85 Final
Mem 79
Sea 84 Final
Chi 99
LAL 101 Final
Dal 110
Utah 105 Final
LAC 86