MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 7 (Ticker)
-- Kevin Garnett
had 23 points and 12 rebounds as Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the road-weary Detroit Pistons for the eighth straight time, 109-93. Gary Trent
scored a season-high 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and Anthony Peeler
added 18 points for Minnesota, which had six players reach double figures and won its fifth straight and eighth in nine contests.
Detroit led, 33-27, less than two minutes into the second quarter, but Minnesota closed the half on a 35-15 run and maintained a double-digit lead thereafter.
"Gary is a physical presence," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "Ben Wallace
has been playing unbelievably and dominating. Tonight, he got zero points and five rebounds. He wasn't much of a factor. A lot of that has to do with Gary."
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Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves soard past the Pistons.
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"I'm definitely feeling more comfortable out there," Trent said. "I just go out and play hard, however many minutes I can get. I just bring that attitude to the court."
The Pistons, who lost their 10th straight road game, were paced by Jerry Stackhouse
's 24 points and 10 assists.
"You can't allow almost 40 points in a quarter and expect to win," Stackhouse said. "They came out and shot the ball extremely well, but we didn't play good defense in the second quarter, and that was basically where the game was lost." Corliss Williamson
added 15 points -- none in the second half -- for Detroit, which lost for the 10th time in its last 12 games.
The Pistons jumped out to a 16-9 lead and led, 29-24, after 12 minutes of play. Detroit shot 60 percent (12-of-20) in the first quarter and held Minnesota to 42 percent (11-of-26).
But the Wolves were even more dominant in the second period, shooting 63 percent (15-of-24) and limiting the Pistons to 32 percent (7-of-22).
"We started out good," Detroit coach Rick Carlisle said. "I liked the way we played in the first quarter. To give up 38 points in the second ... it's hard to withstand that."
Detroit never got closer than 14 points in the second half and trailed by as many as 23, 85-62, on a bucket from Trent with 3:21 left in the third quarter.
The Wolves manhandled the Pistons on the boards, outrebounding them, 51-30, and scoring 27 second-chance points to Detroit's 15.
"They had a ton of second-chance points," Stackhouse said. "I guess some of it was bad bounces. Some of it was just that we were getting outhustled. We have to find a way not to get outhustled."
Detroit has not beaten Minnesota since March 5, 1997.
"We're playing like a team," said Wally Szczerbiak
, who had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. "We're really cohesive. AP and Gary played great tonight. We just need to keep winning."
"It was a workmanlike game for us," Saunders said. "We did the things we do well. We're leading the league in field-goal percentage, and we shot 50 percent (44-of-88). We're leading the league in assists, and we had 29. We did the things we have done well for the first 33 games."