MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 9 (Ticker) -- Anthony Peeler
made a career-high seven 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 26 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Seattle SuperSonics, 111-106, for their sixth straight victory.
Peeler was 7-of-9 from the arc to help the Timberwolves match their season-high winning streak. He finished one 3-pointer shy of the franchise record set by Stephon Marbury
at Seattle on December 23, 1997.
"We have confidence in everybody," Peeler said. "We see a white shirt in the corner and we don't even look to see who it is, we just pass it because we know he is going to be open. When you make it so easy like that, you are going to have fun."
"AP was on fire -- he was flaming," Wally Szczerbiak
said. "We call him `The Flamethrower.' He was hot, so we were milking him."
NBA.comTV highlights from Sonics-Timberwolves:
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Kevin Garnett was brilliant Wednesday night, here rejecting Art Long for one of his four blocks on the evening.
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Minnesota had a 77-69 edge entering the fourth quarter and led by as much as 92-79 on a dunk by rookie Loren Woods
with 6:09 left. But Rashard Lewis
hit three 3-pointers down the stretch and Seattle trimmed the deficit to 109-106 on a layup by Gary Payton
with seven seconds to play.
Szczerbiak iced the game with a pair of free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining.
"It's a credit to the team (that) they didn't quit," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "They hung in there and continued to battle, and gave themselves a chance. They executed and knocked down shots, and kept the game close."
"That was good for our team," Payton said. "That's our team: We need to hustle, we need to go out with energy. If we lose without making a good effort at it, it makes it feel worse. Guys should feel good about themselves."
Kevin Garnett led Minnesota with 29 points and 10 rebounds to lead five players in double figures, which has won nine of its last 10 contests.
Lewis led Seattle with 30 points. Payton added 25 and Vin Baker
23 for the SuperSonics, who lost for just the second time in their last 10 games.
"(Peeler) hit 7-of-9 threes. That's huge," Lewis said. "That's what really hurt us. We knew that we had to crowd their shooters. I think we did a good job on Wally, but we forgot about Peeler -- and he was the one that hurt us."
"We've had to double-team Garnett for the most part," said McMillan, whose team fell to 1-2 against Minnesota this season. "When we haven't doubled him, he's been able to score. When we double him, they're rotating, and Peeler's sitting over there in the corner nocking down J's."
The Wolves, who improved to 15-2 at home this season, have won seven straight over the Sonics at the Target Center.
Seattle led by as much as 18-11 after Lewis hit a floater with 4:44 left in the first quarter. But Peeler got going from the outside and tied the game at 25 on his second 3-pointer with 49 seconds to go.
Minnesota took a 29-28 edge into the second period when Szczerbiak hit a 17-footer at the buzzer and grabbed the lead for good at 33-32 on a layup by Sam Mitchell
2:05 into the next period.
"I call (Peeler) Seattle Slew," Saunders said. "He's always done that (against them). They trap a lot, and when we are moving the
basketball he is going to be the one open as he buries himself in the corner. The rule is, you leave the farthest guy away from the ball uncovered and you try and chase him. They couldn't get to him quick enough tonight."