Wolves finish season with win at San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO — Derrick Williams had 21 points to help the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Spurs 108-95 Wednesday night, ending a 16-game losing streak at San Antonio.
Chase Budinger added 15 points and Greg Stiemsma and Ricky Rubio had 12 points apiece for Minnesota, won on the Spurs’ home court for the first time since Jan. 14, 2004.
Gary Neal had 17 points, Tim Duncan had 17 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Parker had 15 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who had previously clinched the Western Conference’s second seed.
Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili did not play in the final quarter of the regular season finale.
San Antonio opens the playoffs by hosting either the Houston Rockets or the Los Angeles Lakers, who were playing later Wednesday night with the seventh seed at stake.
The Timberwolves outscored the Spurs 52-34 in the second half as Minnesota was 12 for 29 on 3s.
The Timberwolves opened the second half on a 9-2 run to take a 65-63 lead en route to the victory.
Ginobili, who had missed nine games with a strained right hamstring, received a rousing ovation when he entered the game with 5:32 left in the first quarter. Ginobili had an immediate impact, feeding Neal for a 3 that cut Minnesota’s lead to 20-16 with 5 minutes left.
Ginobili wrapped a bounce pass to Duncan, who was stride for stride in a full sprint with Chris Johnson, which resulted in a three-point play following a layup. The play energized the Spurs, who scored five more points as part of a 12-2 run to take a 50-46 lead with 3:23 left in the first half.
After scoring only four points in the opening 21 minutes, Parker had the final 11 points of the half for San Antonio. He was only 3 for 9 from the field, but was 9 for 9 on free throws.
Duncan tied the game at 24 with consecutive layups, but Rubio and Budinger hit consecutive 3s to give Minnesota a 30-24 lead to end the first.
Minnesota outscored San Antonio 15-7 midway through the first quarter, hitting a pair of 3s during the run.
The Timberwolves were 5 for 10 on 3s in the opening quarter.
Notes: F Tracy McGrady, who the Spurs signed Tuesday for the remainder of the season, was inactive. ... Tiago Splitter sat out the game. He had played every game prior to sitting out the finale, starting 58 of 81 games. After starting a combined eight games in his first two years with the Spurs, Splitter had career highs in points (10.3), rebounds (6.4) and minutes (24.7). ... San Antonio observed a moment of silence prior to the game in observance of the victims of the bombings Monday at the Boston Marathon. ... Spurs F Matt Bonner addressed the crowd as part of the team’s “Fan Appreciation Night.” “We have the best fans in the NBA, and you’re all a part of the Spurs family,” Bonner said. “We’re going to need your help tonight and going into the playoffs.” ... Timberwolves F Kevin Love (right hand/left knee), G Brandon Roy (right knee) and G Malcolm Lee (right knee/hip) all missed the team’s season finale with injuries. ... San Antonio made the playoffs for the 16th straight season, the longest current streak in the NBA. The Spurs tied the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers (1959-1974) for sixth longest postseason streak. The Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers have the longest streak, making the postseason 22 straight seasons from 1950 to 1971.