Timberwolves take yet another big scalp, beat Spurs by 110-91
April 10, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota added another big scalp to its recent record by comfortably beating NBA-leading San Antonio 110-91 on Monday.
The Timberwolves have beaten the two conference leaders over their past three games, having also downed Miami.
The Heat suffered another reverse on Tuesday when they were beaten at home by their bogey team Brooklyn, while Northwest Division leader Oklahoma City pulled away early in the fourth quarter to win at Sacramento.
Minnesota's Ricky Rubio scored 23 points and Gorgui Dieng had 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves.
Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and six rebounds for the Spurs, who have now lost two of three following a 19-game winning streak. They went just 4 for 17 from 3-point range in a listless performance.
Tony Parker missed the game with a back injury, but coach Gregg Popovich said before the game it was not serious, while Manu Ginobili left in the third quarter with a cut to his left calf.
Brooklyn's Mason Plumless blocked an attempted dunk by LeBron James in the final seconds, allowing the Nets to hang on for an 88-87 win at Miami.
Joe Johnson scored 19 points for the Nets, who became the only team in the past two seasons to sweep the Heat. Three of Brooklyn's wins over Miami came by a single point, with the other in double overtime.
James had 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Heat, who remained half a game ahead of Indiana, and one in the loss column, in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Oklahoma City's Caron Butler made all six of his 3-point attempts at finished with 23 points to guide the Thunder to a 107-92 win at Sacramento.
Oklahoma City started the fourth quarter on a 16-0 run to pull away for the victory, and allowing the visitors to rest Kevin Durant. He scored 23 points, but his rest on the bench arrested his streak of scoring at least 25 points in 41 consecutive games. Russell Westbrook also sat out the game in preparation for Wednesday's clash with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Oklahoma City is 1-1/2 games ahead of the Clippers for the Western Conference's No. 2 playoff seed.
DeMarcus Cousins collected 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings, who have lost three straight.
Houston kept up its playoff push with a 145-130 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, who gave up their highest score in a miserable season. The Rockets scored 49 points in the third quarter alone.
Dallas won its fifth-straight game, beating Utah 95-83, with Dirk Nowitzki scoring 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
Detroit ended a run of 10-straight losses at Atlanta, beating the Hawks 102-95, with Rodney Stuckey scoring 29 points.