Timberwolves top Spurs 110-91
Timberwolves 110, Spurs 91: Ricky Rubio led a balanced attack with 23 points as host Minnesota coasted past Western Conference-leading San Antonio.
Kevin Love had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Gorgui Dieng finished with 12 points and 15 boards for the Timberwolves. Corey Brewer chipped in 14 points and four steals as Minnesota improved to 39-38 in its quest for its first winning season since 2004-05.
Boris Diaw and Cory Joseph scored 13 points apiece to lead the Spurs, who sat point guard Tony Parker (back). Tim Duncan tallied 10 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots as San Antonio's lead over Oklahoma City for the No. 1 seed in the West fell to four games.
J.J. Barea scored in the closing seconds of the first quarter and hit a 3-pointer early in the second to push Minnesota's lead to 33-21. It remained a 12-point game before the Timberwolves scored the final eight points of the first half, with Brewer burying a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 54-34.
Minnesota opened the third quarter on an 11-3 run capped by Dieng's three-point play and Rubio scored 10 points in the period to help maintain a comfortable margin. San Antonio's reserves made it mildly interesting by pulling within 14 points with seven minutes to go before Robbie Hummel drained a triple to restore order and make it an easy stretch run.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Minnesota G Kevin Martin (foot) missed his third straight game, C Nikola Pekovic (ankle) sat for the fourth straight time and F Chase Budinger was inactive after spraining his ankle at Orlando on Saturday. ... Parker left Sunday's win over Memphis with back spasms after a hard fall to the ground in the first quarter. ... The game was originally scheduled for Dec. 4 in Mexico City but postponed and moved due to a fire in the arena.