EditorsNote: rewords last graf
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 39 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to help lift the San Antonio Spurs to a tougher-than-the-score-indicates 117-101 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday at the AT&T Center.
Two baskets by Aldridge, a 3-pointer by Danny Green and a jumper by Rudy Gay in the middle of the fourth quarter turned a six-point Spurs lead into a 107-92 advantage with 5:56 to play and gave San Antonio the breathing room it would need for the final stretch.
San Antonio has won three consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 23-28 and has pulled into a tie with Minnesota in fifth place in the Western Conference standings.
Gay added 14 points for San Antonio. Green, Patty Mills and Pau Gasol scored 12 points each, and Manu Ginobili hit for 10 points for the Spurs.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 23 points while Andrew Wiggins poured in 21 and Jeff Teague added 16 points.
The loss snapped a two-game win streak for the Timberwolves. Minnesota fell for the ninth straight game in San Antonio and has just one win on the road against the Spurs in the past 26 meetings.
The Spurs got 22 first-half points from Aldridge to help forge a 61-50 lead at halftime. San Antonio led by as much as 13 over the first two quarters after trailing by as many as nine points early on.
Towns paced Minnesota with 12 points while Teague added 11 over the first 24 minutes of play. The Timberwolves were just 2-of-5 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Gasol’s finger-roll layup with 1.9 seconds to play in the third quarter allowed San Antonio a 90-81 lead heading into the final period. But the Spurs have been squandering late-game leads in recent weeks, so when Minnesota cut the advantage to six points twice in the early minutes of the fourth quarter, there was plenty of consternation in the Alamo City.
San Antonio returns to the court on Monday when it hosts the defending league champion Golden State Warriors. The Timberwolves face another tough game next, heading back home with a quick turnaround to oppose against the Houston Rockets on Sunday.
--Field Level Media