Published February 06, 2013
| Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS – Danny Green hit eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 28 points to help the San Antonio Spurs to their 11th straight win, 104-94 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Tony Parker had 31 points and eight assists and Kawhi Leonard added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who kept right on rolling without injured stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
Nikola Pekovic had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Derrick Williams added 15 points and 12 boards for the Timberwolves, who added do-it-all forward Andrei Kirilenko (bruised right quadriceps) to a seemingly endless list of injured players.
The game was tied at 77 with 8 minutes to go, but Green hit two 3s and scored on a putback to put the Spurs back in front for good.
Commissioner David Stern was in the crowd for the nationally televised game, another one in which Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sat two of his big stars. Unlike the game at Miami in November, though, Popovich had an excuse this time around. Duncan has a sprained left knee and Ginobili has been bothered by a nagging left hamstring injury, so the Spurs don't have to worry about another fine coming from Stern.
Whether his big stars have been injured or just needed the night off, the rest of the Spurs have never laid down. With Parker on the throttle and Green hitting every 3-pointer in sight, the Spurs were able to pull away from the Wolves. Green only missed four times in 12 attempts and scored 11 straight points for the Spurs in the fourth quarter.
The Spurs started their annual rodeo road trip, a nine-gamer this time around, with some good news when there was no structural damage in Duncan's left knee. He was injured after taking a nasty fall in a game against the Wizards, an injury that first was feared to be season-ending. He is day to day.
"It looked awful," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game. "He just kind of grinded the bones there, bone on bone."
The Spurs improved to 21-1 against losing teams and have not lost a game since Jan. 11 at Memphis in overtime.
J.J. Barea scored 15 points and Mickael Gelabale made a last push to have his second 10-day contract extended into a deal for the rest of the season with 10 points. Ricky Rubio had 11 assists, but was just 3 for 13 from the field.
The injury-plagued Timberwolves (18-28) have won only twice in their last 15 games, with a season that started with playoff aspirations in danger of swirling down the drain.
NOTES: The Spurs and Timberwolves are at the forefront of the NBA's international movement. The teams combine to have 13 foreign players on their rosters. At one point in the second quarter, seven international players were on the floor with just three Americans. ... Timberwolves F Kevin Love returned to the team for the first time since having surgery on his right hand Jan. 15. Love is expected to be out until mid-March after breaking two bones in his hand for the second time this season. ... Rubio picked up a technical foul from official Joey Crawford for gesturing after not getting a foul call in the first quarter.