Minnesota 101, San Antonio 94 (ot)

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SAN ANTONIO (TICKER) Troy Hudson and Kevin Garnett made sure Stephen Jackson’s heroics did not last long.

Hudson scored six points and Garnett added four in overtime as the Minnesota Timberwolves shook off a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Jackson at the end of regulation and defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 101-94.

“(Hudson) really did a great job of running the team tonight and just answered the challenge,” Minnesota guard Wally Szczerbiak said. “He made a lot of great shots but did a great job of running the team. He stepped up when the double-teams came at KG and knocked down some shots.”

Garnett, who totaled 24 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists in yet another MVP-caliber performance, gave Minnesota the lead for good, 91-89, with a turnaround jumper from the left baseline 13 seconds into the extra session.

“I’m just trying to help this team win,” Garnett said. “I’ve got nothing to prove. (Winning is) the motivation for us.”

After Anthony Peeler hit a jumper and the Spurs’ Malik Rose went 1-of-2 from the line with 3:43 left, Hudson sandwiched a pair of jumpers around a basket by Garnett to give the Timberwolves a nine-point lead with two minutes to play.

“We really had to come out and give a great effort tonight,” Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. “(San Antonio) has been playing really well, and tonight we had to come out and play with playoff intensity.”

Minnesota moved within one-half game of idle Portland for fourth place in the Western Conference. San Antonio slipped three games behind Dallas for the best record in the conference.

The Spurs led by as many as 14 points midway through the second quarter and held a 54-42 halftime advantage. But San Antonio, which edged Dallas on the road in overtime on Thursday, seemed to tire and Minnesota climbed within 71-65 heading to the fourth quarter.

“I think the energy and commitment on our part was the big difference in the second half tonight,” Garnett said.

After Tim Duncan gave San Antonio its last lead, 86-84, on a pair of free throws with 1:51 left in regulation, Joe Smith tied it 19 seconds later on a dunk off a bounce pass from Szczerbiak that split two defenders.

Hudson gave Minnesota its first lead, 88-86, on a baseline jumper with 46 seconds to play and made 1-of-2 free throws with two seconds left to extend the edge to three points.

But after a timeout, Jackson came off a double screen and sank a basket from the right corner to force overtime.

“That’s the play we usually run in that situation,” Jackson said. “David (Robinson) set a great pick and got me open, and I was able to knock it down. But the deal here is that we didn’t have enough juice, we didn’t bring enough energy into the overtime. Give them credit, they played harder in OT.”

Duncan had 29 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, who fell to 24-7 all-time at home against the Timberwolves. The All-Star forward, who recorded his team’s first 10 points, scored his 10,000th career point on a layup with 9:25 left in the first quarter. He did not speak with the media after the game.

Tony Parker, who hit the go-ahead basket with 1.2 seconds left against Dallas, scored 17 points and Jackson added 15 for San Antonio, which shot just 41 percent (35-of-85), including 23 percent from the arc (7-of-30).

“That was a tough loss,” Parker said. “Yesterday we picked up a huge win in overtime and now tonight we suffer a huge loss in overtime. But that is basketball. Just have to pick it up and get back on track.”

“It was a great game,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added. “It was a tough loss, but a good effort both ways.”

Robinson scored just two points on 1-of-5 shooting after being activated from the injured list before the game. He missed seven games with a sore lower back and back spasms.

“I felt good,” Robinson said. “I was able to get up and down the floor and Pop limited my minutes a little. It was great to be back on the floor, but it’s not easy to just step back out there. But all the signs are positive.”

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Minnesota
K. Garnett K. Garnett
12-21,  24 Pts
18 Rebs, 8 Assists
 San Antonio
T. Duncan T. Duncan
12-21,  29 Pts
12 Rebs, 2 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists