SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Brent Barry
scored a career-high 31 points, leading the Seattle SuperSonics to their season-high third straight win, 112-102 over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Seattle had a 92-86 lead when Barry hit an 18-footer with 5:12 remaining to start a 9-0 run that put the game out of reach. Barry scored 22 points in the second half and made 10-of-15 shots.
"I've been shooting the ball pretty poorly the last couple of weeks and just felt like I was due to have some type of night where I was due to put the ball in the hole," Barry said. "It happens."
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Seattle's Gary Payton dishes off a no look pass against the Timberwolves.
added a season-high 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting and nine rebounds in his second game back from a bruised left knee. Gary Payton
contributed 20 points and 13 assists for Seattle, which never trailed. All five Sonics starters reached double figures in points.
"I think what happened was getting those big guys back and establishing a low post," Barry said. "The good teams in this league build inside-out, and with Vin down there doing the work and Calvin (Booth) even being a presence down there, it makes my job on the perimeter that much easier and opens up a lot of things on the outside. So tonight was a good example of that."
"Barry and Baker were great tonight, and from our standpoint defensively we didn't do anything as far as containment," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "Barry was the difference tonight, he did everything for them. He shot the ball well. He hit about four shots as the shot clock was coming down and they just played overall more aggressive than we did."
Kevin Garnett paced Minnesota with 22 points and nine rebounds. Terrell Brandon added 19 points and 12 assists and Wally Szczerbiak collected 16 points and 11 rebounds.
"I felt like we just didn't take anything away from them," Garnett said. "You've got to defend in this league, and I take it upon myself. I wasn't playing 'D' like I know I can. There were times when I didn't contest and didn't do the smaller stuff, and it cost us."
Three nights after scoring a career-high 24 points and hauling down 12 rebounds in a 99-94 win over San Antonio, Timberwolves center Rasho Nesterovic had just six points on 2-of-7 shooting and three boards.
Minnesota lost despite manhandling Seattle on the boards, 53-34, and scoring more second-chance (22-12) and bench points (31-12). But the Wolves also committed nearly twice as many turnovers (15-8).
"I thought it was a fantastic job by this team tonight, competing on both ends of the floor," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "You know we were aggressive, we were patient and defensively we played solid defense. We didn't rebound the ball particularly well, but we didn't turn the ball over."
The Sonics (8-8) improved to 21-4 all-time at home against Minnesota. It was their fifth win in the last six home games against the Timberwolves, who had won seven of the previous 11 meetings in the series.
"It makes my job a lot easier when everybody does this and it makes us a better team when everybody's balanced," Payton said. "Then other teams don't have to just look for one person to do things, and when everybody's clicking and scoring and doing what they're supposed to be doing, we're going to have a lot of fun and makes it a lot better for our team."
Tuesday's game was Seattle's first of eight over the next 12 days, including three sets of back-to-back contests.
"I'm just excited about the potential this team has," Barry said. "Again, getting healthy and having some of the weapons that we have, we have the potential to be good. Whether or not we reach that potential is up to us, and that's really where it lies right now."