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San Antonio at Minnesota

Parker's 55 points help Spurs drop T-Wolves in 2 OTs for first win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Being 0-3 really bothered Tony Parker.

The San Antonio Spurs needed every last layup and feathery jumper from the fast-moving Frenchman, whose unstoppable performance was just enough to fuel their first win.

Parker scored a career-high 55 points, including a 20-footer at the buzzer to force a second overtime, in San Antonio's 129-125 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

The Spurs avoided an 0-4 start for the first time since 1973, when they still played in the ABA.

"I just wanted to win so bad. I was going to try to do everything I can," said Parker, whose previous best was a 38-point effort in January 2006 at Miami. "It's just one of those games. Everything you do, it works. ... Obviously, everybody knows if I make my jump shots, I can do whatever I want. Tonight was just one of those games that everything was working."

After Al Jefferson backed down Tim Duncan and sank a turnaround hook to put Minnesota up 116-114 with 2½ seconds left in the first overtime, Parker took the inbounds pass, dribbled right, pump-faked once and let the ball fly.

Swish.

He let a sly smile creep across his normally stone face as the Wolves trudged back to the bench.

Jefferson, who had 30 points and 14 rebounds, paused to sit on the scorer's table before play resumed and just shook his head as if to say, "What more can we do?"

Mike Miller had 12 of his 25 points in the first quarter for Minnesota, which held a nine-point lead twice but lost its edge late in the third while the Spurs closed with a 26-14 run.

The Wolves, who lost their third straight after winning their opener, threw everything they had against Parker, Duncan and the rest of the bunch.

"We're getting chances. It took Tony making every shot for them," Miller said. "We've got to figure out what we've got to do to win games. We'll just keep plugging away."

San Antonio picked up its sixth straight win and 11th in the last 12 meetings against Minnesota.

"I told our guys at the end of the game we could easily be 3-1, but the reality is we're 1-3 and we've got to keep fighting," Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "I'm proud of their effort."

Parker scored six of his team's first eight points in the second overtime to stretch the lead to four, though Randy Foye made a 3-pointer from the corner to cut the lead to one. The Spurs were in perfect position to rebound a pair of missed jumpers, before Parker finally went to the line with 19 seconds left and made it 128-125.

"I saw it in his eyes, man. I could tell," said teammate Roger Mason, who had 26 points. "He was in that zone, like they say. He kept his foot on the pedal and just kept going and going and going. When a guy's like that, who knows?"

That gave Parker the highest scoring output by any individual opponent in the Wolves' 20-year history. Shaquille O'Neal had 53 points for Orlando in a game against Minnesota in 1994.

Parker was 22-of-36 from the field and added 10 assists and seven rebounds.

"Just an unbelievable effort, especially with the minutes he's played to continue to push like that," Duncan said.

Parker was 22-of-36 from the field and added 10 assists and seven rebounds. According to sports researcher STATS, Inc., the last NBA player to have at least 55 points and 10 assists in a game was Michael Jordan. He had 57 points and 10 assists for Chicago against Washington on Dec. 23, 1992.

Though their first two defeats were narrow, to Phoenix and Portland, the Spurs were sputtering with Manu Ginobili on the mend. Averaging nearly 31 points over San Antonio's four victories over the Wolves last season, he sank an astounding seven of nine 3-pointers in each matchup at Minnesota.

Well, Parker more than did his part to fill the void, as he's actually done all four times the Spurs have taken the court in Ginobili's absence to an ankle injury. He's been working on his outside shot, an effort that is clearly paying off.

"I have to shoot it with confidence," he said.

After surviving their opener by two points over Sacramento, the Wolves went cold in losses to Dallas and Oklahoma City. Randy Foye missed all 10 of his shots against the Thunder after going 3-for-14 against the Mavericks, and Miller -- whose arrival was designed to significantly upgrade their outside shooting -- was 1-for-7 from behind the arc in those games.

Miller got it going in this one, though, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter and sinking his share down the stretch. That was one solace the Wolves could take from this, despite yet another devastating last-second defeat. Miller went 5-for-7 from 3-point range.

"We flowed into things a lot better today. It wasn't such a grind," Wittman said.

Notes

  • Until Jefferson's miss late in the third quarter, the Wolves made 33 straight free throws dating to the fourth quarter against Dallas two games ago.
  • Hockey and basketball crowds don't often mix, but injured Minnesota Wild star Marian Gaborik was in attendance.
  • Duncan went 7-for-9 from the floor for 18 points over the third and fourth quarters.
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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The Spurs lean on Tony Parker, who puts up a career-high 55 points to give San Antonio its first win.  (AP)
The Spurs lean on Tony Parker, who puts up a career-high 55 points to give San Antonio its first win. (AP)

Scoreboard
San Antonio (1-3) «182729321013129
Minnesota (1-3) 18312235109125
SA:T. Parker 55 Pts
SA:T. Duncan 16 Reb
SA:T. Parker 10 Ast
MIN:A. Jefferson 30 Pts
MIN:A. Jefferson 14 Reb
MIN:S. Telfair 10 Ast
Players of the Game
MinnesotaSan Antonio

A. Jefferson

T. Parker
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
3014355710
San Antonio
T. Parker, PG5122-369-10710055
T. Duncan, PF4812-266-7163530
B. Bowen, SF341-10-03243
M. Finley, SG331-90-05133
M. Bonner, PF60-00-02000
R. Mason, SG449-166-642426
F. Oberto, C311-20-02352
I. Udoka, SF214-50-12108
K. Thomas, PF130-00-03010
G. Hill, PG100-22-43332
J. Vaughn, PGDid Not Play
M. Ginobili, SGDid Not Play
D. Farmer, SGDid Not Play
I. Mahinmi, CDid Not Play
A. Tolliver, CDid Not Play
Totals 50-9723-28472525129
 51.5%82.1% 
Minnesota
M. Miller, SF4810-190-076225
A. Jefferson, PF4712-276-9143430
R. Foye, PG455-110-059411
C. Brewer, SF385-115-540415
R. Gomes, PF213-81-13407
K. Love, PF374-135-692214
S. Telfair, PG303-62-231068
R. McCants, SG133-80-01117
C. Smith, PF112-34-50038
K. Ollie, PGDid Not Play
C. Booth, CDid Not Play
B. Cardinal, PFDid Not Play
M. Madsen, PFDid Not Play
J. Collins, CDid Not Play
R. Carney, SFDid Not Play
Totals 47-10623-28463526125
 44.3%82.1% 
Other Games
Pho 113 Final
Ind 103
Det 100 Final
Tor 93
Phi 83 Final
Mia 106
Char 98 Final
NY 101
Atl 87 Final
NO 79
Chi 93 Final
Cle 107
Wash 104 Final
Mil 112
Bos 96 Final
OKC 83
Port 96 Final
Utah 103
Mem 95 Final
Sac 100
Den 101 Final
GS 111
LAC 88 Final
LAL 106