MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- David Robinson knew the San Antonio Spurs would be able to shake off a tough loss.
The Spurs blew a nine-point lead in an overtime loss to Cleveland on Thursday night, but San Antonio bounced back for an 85-77 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
"I really wasn't wondering. I felt we would come out and play well," Robinson said. "In general, when we've had our backs against the wall, we've come out and responded well. Last night was really disappointing, but I just felt like we were going to come out tonight and start to build something on that."
Robinson scored 18 points, and Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
For San Antonio, the win evened the season series with the Timberwolves at two games. Last Saturday, the Wolves embarrassed the Spurs at home 112-88.
"We were really disappointed after our last game against them," Robinson said. "Tonight we wanted to set a tone early and get to the ball and get some good stuff happening. That first quarter, almost all our points were in the paint. So it was a good tone we set."
Wally Szczerbiak led Minnesota with 21 points, and Kevin Garnett added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Spurs pounded Minnesota inside all night long. Robinson had six dunks and the Wolves had no answer for Duncan's running jump hooks. All told, the Spurs outscored the Wolves 54-26 in the paint.
"We attacked them down low, I thought we did a great job down there of really sucking the defense in and kicking the ball out," Duncan said.
And 17 turnovers by the Timberwolves didn't hurt either.
"What I always say to the guys is, 'What you establish early is what will happen late,"' Wolves coach Flip Saunders said. "Early, all we established is that we were very nonchalant with the ball."
The Timberwolves, who trailed most of the night, had a chance to complete their comeback.
Trailing 78-75 late in the fourth, Minnesota had several chances down the stretch to score but couldn't crack the Spurs' defense and were forced into hurried shots with the shot clock winding down.
After Szczerbiak missed a 3-point shot, Steve Smith hit a 3 of his own with 57.1 seconds left to make it 81-75.
"They were holding on. They went to double Tim. Tony (Parker) swung it to Bruce (Bowen), Bruce swung it to me, and I had a pretty good look at it," Smith said.
After a layup by Duncan made it 52-41, Szczerbiak drove on Bowen and faked him into the air. Bowen's leg inadvertently flew into Szczerbiak's face, catching him below his right eye.
Then, Malik Rose tipped in a missed free throw by Bowen at 6:14 to make it 55-44. Saunders, who thought the tip should have been a goaltending violation, was hit with a technical for arguing with the officials.
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