Limping into Game 2
T'wolves may get less from Brandon vs. Spurs
Brandon, the T'wolves' second-best shooter, sprained his left ankle late in San Antonio's 87-82 victory Saturday.
The top-seeded Spurs and eighth-seeded Wolves play Game 2 of their best-of-five series at the Alamodome on Monday night.
"I've been treating it all night -- that's why I'm kind of tired," Brandon said Sunday before the start of practice.
The 5-foot-11 point guard said he definitely would play in Monday's game, though his minutes could be limited because of the sore ankle, which has bothered him off and on for years. He missed four games after spraining it in November.
Brandon, who had 16 points on Saturday, slipped several times before the fall that sent him limping off the court.
He insisted the latest injury had nothing to do with the new-model, electric blue shoes he was wearing under his endorsement deal with Nike.
"I believe I just stepped on someone's foot," he said. "It happened so fast, I don't remember who it was."
Brandon said he won't be wearing the new shocking blue shoes -- called "Luckys" -- on Monday because his ankle brace wouldn't fit.
"I don't believe in luck," he said.
With less use of Brandon, a good pick-and-roll guard who has shot well against the Spurs, the T'wolves "would be a different team," said San Antonio All-Star David Robinson.
"He always seems to play great against us," Robinson said. "He makes big shots down the stretch. ... He helps carry that team."
For the T'wolves, there's at least a small measure of comfort in the fact that they beat the Spurs while Brandon was sitting out in November. It was their only win in this season's four-game series against San Antonio.
Chauncey Billups started in Brandon's place and had 16 points and 13 assists in the 99-94 overtime victory.
"Chauncey had some success in really attacking them and getting into the paint and making some plays," T'wolves coach Flip Saunders said.
Saunders reiterated that Brandon would play in Game 2.
"How effective he's going to be, we're going to have to wait and see," he said. "Sometimes when you have injuries like that, you play the best game you ever played."
He will need Kevin Garnett to regain his spring, too.
Saunders described Garnett's legs as "pretty dead" after the T'wolves' All-Star did not attempt a shot over the final six minutes in Saturday's game. Instead, he passed to Dean Garrett, who missed two open jump shots in the final 1:16.
"If somebody is open, his personality is not to force too many shots," Saunders said. "I don't think he had all of his legs, so maybe he didn't feel like he could get by these guys [Robinson and Tim Duncan]. Maybe that took away some of his aggressiveness."
Garnett led the Timberwolves with 25 points.
Duncan, who had 33 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs, nailed a 15-foot bank shot over Garrett with 12.7 seconds left to all but seal the win.
"We've just got to match their energy for 48 minutes," Garnett said. "We were in the game for 47 minutes, and it comes down to 1:30, 1:15, whatever it was, but they started really making plays."
After the game, Garnett walked over to Garrett and told him to keep his head up.
As for the open misses, he said Sunday, "You live and die with those. Obviously, as a team we have to knock those down."