SAN ANTONIO - The Minnesota Timberwolves fought admirably, as they have all season despite many injuries, but a road game against the home-tough Spurs was too tall an order, as the Timberwolves fell 106-88 Sunday at the AT&T Center.
Tony Parker scored 20 points, and Gary Neal had 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, when he ignited a spurt for the Spurs (29-11).
The Wolves (16-18) hung with the Spurs for most of the game, trailing 78-71 heading into the fourth, but that's when the Spurs exploded.
Neal hit two three-pointers in the fourth quarter, when the Spurs outscored the Wolves 28-17.
The Spurs had 45 field goals off 31 assists.
Manu Ginobili left the game right before the half when he strained a hamstring, although it wasn't apparent how it happened. Before getting hurt, Ginobili, along with Parker, torched the Wolves with driving layups. In the first half, Ginobili and Parker combined for 28 points and nine assists.
Tim Duncan broke out of a mini-slump, scoring 12 points, while blocking a season-high seven shots.
J.J. Barea made his return for Minnesota after missing two games with back spasms. He led the Wolves with 15 points and six assists. Nikola Pekovic added 14 points and four rebounds.
Minnesota forward Kevin Love missed his fifth consecutive game with a broken right hand. The hand needs surgery, but it's on hold while the Wolves team doctor recovers from surgery himself.
NOTES: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected for arguing with the officials with 7:22 left in the game...Wolves coach Rick Adelman missed his fourth straight game to be with his wife who has been hospitalized with an undisclosed condition.... The Wolves are now 1-3 under acting coach Terry Porter... Injuries are taking their toll on the Wolves, who were still without Love, Chase Budinger, Malcolm Lee and Brandon Roy. Ricky Rubio has been hampered by knee and back injuries, and is now 1-for-12 shooting in the four games he's played since returning. He is only 6 of 33 shooting in eight games this season... Last season, the Wolves won the season series against the Spurs for the first time since the 1999-00 season.... The Wolves are trying to avoid a dubious distinction. They are shooting 29.8 percent from the three-point line this season. In the last 10 years, only one team has finished below 30 percent from deep for the season.