CHICAGO, Dec. 22 (Ticker) --
It wasn't a record-setting victory, but the Minnesota Timberwolves had few problems getting past the Chicago Bulls.
Wally Szczerbiak scored 19 points and Anthony Peeler had 11 of his 15 in the fourth quarter as the Timberwolves pulled away for a 95-74 victory over the Bulls, who have lost six straight.
In their first meeting on November 8, Minnesota recorded the most lopsided win in franchise history, a 127-74 rout in which seven players scored in double figures. The 53-point loss also was the worst in Bulls' annals.
Chicago tried to hang around on Saturday, trailing 65-52 after three quarters.
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Chauncey Billups and the Wolves glide to an easy victory.
"We knew we would have to execute well tonight and have to have good spacing," Minnesota All-Star forward Kevin Garnett
said. "We were struggling lately and I was talking to my teammates about how we would have to play them."
Garnett, who was tied for second in the league with former Bull Elton Brand with 17 double-doubles, collected 14 points and 11 rebounds. Nine rebounds came on the defensive glass as the Bulls shot just under 32 percent (7-of-22) in the fourth.
Garnett's presence, combined with Joe Smith's 12 points and 13 rebounds, helped Minnesota dominate inside. The Timberwolves outscored the Bulls, 38-20, in the paint, forcing them away from the basket much of the game.
"I thought we did what we were supposed to do," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "We came out and took control early, especially our defensive control. We played a lot of good matchups, especially in the second half.
"We just played great team ball. This is something like our eighth back-to-back, and we're handling them much better than last year. We just wanted to come out from that with our head above water."
Peeler helped fuel a 20-8 run over the first six minutes of the final period that extended the Wolves' lead to 85-60 with 6:01 remaining.
"AP played very well," Saunders said. "He's a lot lighter this year and because of that, a lot quicker and able to play longer stints. He has more energy and has given us a big boost coming off the bench."
Rookie Eddy Curry's dunk sliced the deficit to 65-56. But Peeler made consecutive 3-pointers and Szczerbiak drilled another to open a 74-56 advantage. The Bulls got no closer.
"We hung in there for a while," Bulls coach Tim Floyd said. "For at least three quarters, we were in striking distance -- eight or 10 points.
"We did not really get it going offensively. They went on a run, not necessarily because we had the two young guys in there. We had no stops for about four or five minutes. That one great player, Garnett, puts pressure on your defense because you always are aware of him."
The Wolves shot 59 percent (13-of-22) in the fourth quarter to finish at 51 percent (43-of-84).
"We shot the ball like practice," Szczerbiak said. "This was like target practice. When you play unselfishly, we play very well. On this team, it starts with Kevin and how unbelievable he handles the ball and helps everyone on the team. He knows if there is a hot guy and keeps getting the ball to him."
Marcus Fizer led the Bulls with 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting. But the rest of the team shot barely 30 percent (16-of-53).