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Duncan too much for Wolves

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tim Duncan had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-100 on Wednesday night despite playing most of the game without All-Star guard Tony Parker.

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Anthony Tolliver, left, is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Tiago Splitter during Wednesday's game in San Antonio. Eric Gay | Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tim Duncan had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-100 on Wednesday night despite playing most of the game without All-Star guard Tony Parker.

Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal each scored 16 points for the Spurs (30-14), who won their fourth straight game and fifth in their last six.

Parker left with tightness in his left hamstring with 8:03 remaining in the first half.

Kevin Love had 17 points and 12 rebounds for his league-leading 40th double-double, but Minnesota lost for the fourth time in six games to fall further behind in the Western Conference playoff race.

Minnesota had won the previous two games in the season series, which concluded Wednesday.

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The Timberwolves were playing without starting center Nikola Pekovic, their second-leading scorer and rebounder. The second-year big man went back to Minnesota before the game to have his sore left ankle examined. He also will miss Friday's game at Oklahoma City, which ends the team's seven-game road trip.

Danny Green had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs, who outrebounded the Timberwolves 56-41.

J.J. Barea added 18 points and 11 assists for the Timberwolves.

With Pekovic out, Minnesota went with a smaller lineup, starting Love at center. Before the game, Minnesota coach Rick Adelman was blunt in his assessment of the team's other likely option, starting Darko Milicic at center.

"He hasn't done anything to give you faith that he's going to go out and do the job," Adelman said before the game. "He's gotten himself out of shape, and I don't think he's been as driven as you'd like."

Milicic didn't play.

The Spurs led 56-47 at halftime behind Duncan's 13 points and 11 rebounds. With Minnesota playing a smaller lineup, the Spurs outrebounded the Timberwolves 31-21 and scored 28 points in the paint.

San Antonio hit 13 of 20 shots in the third quarter to extend its lead to 91-71 entering the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves closed to 93-77 early in the period before Neal scored seven straight points. Love didn't play in the fourth quarter.

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Notes: The Spurs retired Bruce Bowen's No. 12 after the game. Bowen was on the league's All-Defensive team eight times and started on the Spurs' championship teams in 2003, 2005 and 2007. . Spurs F Matt Bonner missed the game with back spasms. "He just came up tight yesterday in practice," Popovich said. "I don't think it's anything real serious, but we don't want to take any chances with him."

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.