Spurs overcome sluggish start to beat Wolves and reach playoffs for 20th straight season
Pau Gasol comes up with 17 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes of action for San Antonio. AP

THE Spurs clinched a place in the playoffs for the 20th straight season, downing the Minnesota Timberwolves, 97-90, in overtime on Saturday in San Antonio (Sunday, Manila time).

It was the Spurs’ seventh straight win and 48th in 61 outings, second best in the league behind only the Golden State Warriors (50-11).

Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge also had a double-double with 18 and 10.

Pau Gasol came up with 17 points and eight rebounds.

The Timberwolves had a fine start and got ahead 26-14 but could not hold on in the endgame.

The Spurs managed to tied it at 78 on a Kawhi Leonard jumper with under four minutes to go.

A Leonard layup with a minute left put the Spurs ahead 83-81 but a Karl Anthoy Towns basket forced the game into overtime.

The Spurs held the Timberwolves to just seven in the extra session.

Towns finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Ricky Rubio had a triple-double of 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

Andrew Wiggins had 17 points for the Timberwolves, who saw their win streak end at two and absorbed their 37th loss in 62 games.

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