MINNEAPOLIS -- It was so unexpected as to be absurd.
The worst three-point-shooting team shooting the Target Center lights out? The best team in the Western Conference -- albeit a banged-up one -- looking so rattled, so tentative? A Timberwolves team that had lost consecutive games by more than 20 points beating the absolute tar out of the San Antonio Spurs?
For one night, yes, in Minnesota's 107-83 victory.
Yes, the Spurs -- who had won three of their last four -- played the game without injured starters Tony Parker, Tim Duncan Kawhi Leonard. But, given the Wolves' own injury problems this year, don't feel too bad for the Spurs. The Wolves have been without key players for most of the season.
But Tuesday, it didn't matter as Minnesota rolled, hitting three-pointers from all over the court, breaking wide open a game that started with San Antonio grabbing an early double-digit lead.
The headline here, again, was Ricky Rubio. The Wolves point guard, with the pedal to the metal all night, was an amazing study in intensity. Rubio posted the first triple double of his career. He had 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists by the time he sat down with the Wolves up 25 and 2:39 left in the game. His final two points came on a drive down the lane that included his patented behind-the-back dribble. The triple double was complete with his rebound of Aron Baynes' miss with 9:15 left in the game.
J.J. Barea added 17, Alexey Shved had 16, Derrick Williams 13 and Luke Ridnour 14.
But it should be noted that the Wolves put a death grip on this game in the second quarter led by the likes of Shved and Barea.
It was one of the team's best quarters of the season, a 29-10 run over 12 minutes that turned a four-point deficit into a 15-point lead. And it came mainly from the bench, which scored 24 of those points.
It was the lowest second-quarter total for a Wolves opponent this season.
The Wolves hit four straight three pointers to start it off with a 12-0 run -- two each from Barea and Shved -- to make it 36-28 before Rubio even returned to the game.
The Spurs got within four midway through the quarter only to have the Wolves score seven straight, including Rubio's three-pointer. In the final minute of the quarter, Chris Johnson slammed home Barea's alley-oop pass. Then, with 4.8 seconds left, Rubio drove the length of the court for a runner to make it 53-28 at halftime. The Wolves blocked six Spurs shots in the quarter, with Johnson getting five.
With Rubio driving and dishing -- and the Spurs clanking -- that lead grew to 71-46 on Mickael Gelabale's three-pointer from the corner.
San Antonio got it together at the end of the third, finishing with an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 77-60 entering the fourth. But Shved hit a three-pointer in the first moments of the fourth quarter, restoring the team's momentum.
Corey Joseph led the Spurs with 15 points. Stephen Jackson had 14 and Nando De Colo had 13.
In the end it was a game full of role reversals. The Wolves hit 12 of 20 three-pointers, led by Barea (5-for-7) and Shved (3-of-4) while the Spurs went 9-for-29.
The Wolves shot 53.7 percent overall while the Spurs -- the fourth-highest scoring team in the league -- struggled to 83 points on 35.4 percent shooting.
San Antonio entered the game in the top 10 in the NBA in points, point differential, field goal percentage and three-point shooting. Minnesota was in the bottom 10 in shooting, three-point shooting and free throw shooting.
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