MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 4 (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett had 21 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing streak with a 108-83 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.

Minnesota started a three-game road trip last Tuesday with a 112-102 loss to Seattle, and the team lost subsequent games to the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers to fall behind the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks atop the Midwest Division.

But the Timberwolves found their home court more to their liking and improved to 7-1 at the Target Center this season. Minnesota has defeated Seattle six straight times at home since an overtime loss on March 8, 1998.

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Wally Szczerbiak had the range against the Sonics.
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"We got slapped around last week," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "Our confidence was shaken. We had been playing extremely well, and when you don't play as well, you have a tendency to go back to the basics. Do we play better at home? Yeah. Our crowd gets into it and our guys get into a good rhythm."

"We felt like we played no defense (on the road trip) whatsoever," Garnett said. "Yesterday in practice, our focus was nothing but defense. We tried to restore some confidence and carry over some positive energy."

Wally Szczerbiak began the game with a 17-foot jumper and scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter to stake the Wolves to a 28-20 lead. Szczerbiak was 6-of-7 in the quarter and 2-of-2 from the arc.

"We wanted to come out and establish a lead in the first quarter," Szczerbiak said. "We got down in the first quarter of all the games. ... I got into a flow and guys were looking for me. I was hitting open shots and taking the ball to the hole."

Four other Wolves scored in double figures. Chauncey Billups was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line and finished with 16 points, five assists and four rebounds. Rasho Nesterovic added 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

Minnesota shot 52 percent (46-of-89).

"We wanted to get that three-game skid off our backs," Billups said. "The only way to do that was to come out and play aggressive. When you get some easy shots, it keeps your confidence. When you have to take a tough shot after hitting a few easy ones, it takes the pressure off."

The Sonics were led by Rashard Lewis' 17 points. Gary Payton contributed 15 points and six assists. Vin Baker scored 13 points and Earl Watson added 10 off the bench.

"They were hitting everything," Lewis said. "Everyone was knocking down jump shots, and there was nothing we could do. They shot the ball well. They played together as a team. It wasn't just any individuals."

Seattle (9-11) trailed the entire game but reduced a 17-point third-quarter deficit to 76-67 on a bucket by Payton with 2:25 left. But Gary Trent hit a six-foot jumper with 1:28 remaining to give Minnesota a double-digit lead, and the Sonics got no closer.

Minnesota held Seattle 43 percent (35-of-81) and held huge advantages in fast-break points (24-4) and assists (36-18).

"These guys are supposed to be pros," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "You're called `pros' for a reason. You're supposed to give an effort each and every night. The inconsistency that we're getting from some of our guys is unprofessional, and I don't know the reason for it."

In last week's loss to Seattle, Minnesota (11-5) was torched by Brent Barry, who scored a career-high 31 points. But the Wolves held Barry to three points in 20 minutes in this one.

"(Barry) can play and he can shoot," Szczerbiak said. "I don't think we concentrated on him enough in Seattle. He was aggressive and played very well. He's a talented guy. Terrell took the challenge upon himself."

Minnesota led 53-34 after Nesterovic tipped in his own miss with 2:57 left in the second quarter. Lewis scored five points during an 11-0 run that was capped by Barry's sole bucket, a 3-pointer, with 1:14 before halftime.

The Wolves went into the break with a 58-47 lead after Joe Smith converted a 3-point play with 20 seconds left.