The San Antonio Spurs found a good way to beat Minnesota: Take Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell out of the Timberwolves' offense. After a lethargic first half in...
SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs found a good way to beat Minnesota: Take Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell out of the Timberwolves’ offense.
After a lethargic first half in which they fell behind by double digits, the Spurs came out of the locker room with shooting accuracy and tight defense to rally for a 96-82 win over Minnesota last night.
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Garnett managed just one basket in the second half and shot 4 for 16 in the game, while Sprewell and Cassell combined to go 4 for 13.
Despite the poor performance from their big-name players, the Timberwolves shot 53 percent in the first half. After the break, they made only 27 percent of their shots.
“We lost the game in the first two minutes of the second half,” Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. “Instead of controlling the tempo, we let them take control of the game and get back in it, and they made it difficult to play them.”
San Antonio made 11 of its 18 shots in the fourth quarter to break open a tie game. Minnesota made only three of 14 shots in the quarter.
“Sometimes X’s and O’s are relative,” said Manu Ginobili, who led San Antonio with 22 points. “If you are aggressive and show them that it won’t be easy, I think that’s where the game changed.”
Garnett said the Spurs helped themselves by quickening the pace, but he also took some of the blame.
“I take it upon myself to get guys shots and get guys in a rhythm,” said Garnett, who scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds. “Maybe I sacrificed a little bit too much tonight.”
The Spurs, coming off a six-point loss Wednesday in Orlando in which they missed 13 of 26 free throws, made 16 of 19 from the line against Minnesota.