Parker, Spurs send Wolves to 13th straight loss

SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker keeps finding ways to hurt the Minnesota Timberwolves. Manu Ginobili just keeps getting hurt.

Parker scored 36 points on 13-of-17 shooting to lead the Spurs to a 99-93 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night, handing the Timberwolves their 13th consecutive loss.

Ginobili, who missed the first 12 games of the season because of left ankle surgery, limped slightly to the sideline with about four minutes left. He returned two minutes later and played until 15 seconds remained in the game.

Still, the Spurs are being cautious. Ginobili grimaced and grabbed his ankle when he lunged to grab at the basketball in the fourth quarter.

"He's in there talking to the doctors now, just to see what that was," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "I'm hoping, maybe, that it's scar tissue or something like that, and those things are going to happen while he's recovering. We'll find out."

Parker missed just one of his 10 second-half shots and scored 21 points after halftime. He also was 10-of-12 from the foul line and had eight assists in 36 minutes in another huge night against the Timberwolves, the team he scored a career-high 55 points against on Nov. 5.

"My shot was going in, you know, and it's the whole difference when your outside shot is going in," Parker said. "It opens up everything. Roger [Mason] and all the shooters were making shots."

Minnesota (4-23) is closing in on the franchise worst of 16 consecutive defeats. They trailed by 16 heading into the fourth quarter and cut it to three points with just under three minutes left before the Spurs put it away.

Tim Duncan added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs (18-10), who have won nine of 11 and head into a Christmas day matchup against the Suns in Phoenix.

After losing both road games last week to playoff teams New Orleans and Orlando, the Spurs have won three straight against weaker competition.

Al Jefferson led the Timberwolves with 28 points. Randy Foye added 26 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.

Foye had 11 fourth-quarter points and six rebounds. But his turnover with two minutes left -- not long after the Timberwolves had cut the Spurs' lead to 91-88 -- opened the door for San Antonio to finish off the contest. Parker made jumpers from 21 feet and 22 feet, plus two free throws, in the final 1:29 to help the Spurs hold on.

"We made Tony Parker do what the scouting report wanted us to do, and he just made tough shots down the stretch," Foye said.

Mike Miller sat out because of a left ankle sprain. He thinks he may miss only a couple of games with an injury that sidelined him four games earlier this season.

Kevin Ollie made his fourth start of the season in place of Miller. He played point guard and Foye moved to shooting guard. Ollie had Minnesota trailing by just a point when he scored on a layup 1:09 into the second half.

The Timberwolves were only down by three four minutes later before Parker got the Spurs going. He made three long-range jumpers, a free throw and assisted on Bruce Bowen's 3-pointer that gave San Antonio a 77-65 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter.

Ginobili made a 3-pointer with 4 seconds to go that gave San Antonio a 16-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

After missing their first shot of the night, the Spurs made their next seven to go ahead by double digits after only five minutes. Parker later made a layup to give the Spurs an 11-of-14 start from the floor and a 26-13 lead.

"Tony Parker -- holy cow -- he sees us coming and gee he really plays well," Minnesota coach Kevin McHale said. "He's making jump shots that we were trying to make him take."

But San Antonio only made one of their final seven to finish the quarter, and the Spurs watched their lead dwindle to six.

Jefferson scored 16 points in 18 first-half minutes on 7-of-11 shooting.

Game notes
It's the second straight night the Spurs had a hot shooting hand to start the game. Their 7-of-8 start from the floor against the Timberwolves didn't quite match the 8-of-9 start in Monday's win against Sacramento. ... After playing a season-low seven minutes Saturday in Houston, Timberwolves No. 1 pick Kevin Love played 14 minutes Tuesday. He finished with one point but had six rebounds. ... The Missouri football team, which will play Northwestern on Dec. 29 in the Alamo Bowl, was in attendance Tuesday.