Wolves Welcome Brandon Back With Win vs. Warriors
OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 19 (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett
had 21 points,
seven rebounds and seven assists and hit a clutch basket as the
Minnesota Timberwolves squeaked past the Golden State Warriors,
105-102, for their 10th win in 11 games.
With Minnesota clinging to a 93-88 lead, Antawn Jamison and
Danny Fortson hit consecutive buckets to cut the deficit to one
point. But Garnett answered with a rainbow fadeaway jumper
while falling out of bounds and the shot clock expiring to give
the Timberwolves a 95-92 edge with 1:48 left.
Wally Szczerbiak hit a pair of free throws, and Golden State
never got closer than three points thereafter.
Loren Woods goes in for a basket in Oakland.
scored 21 points and Szczerbiak added 20,
although he missed a pair from the line with 2.9 seconds left
that could have iced the game.
Fortson gathered the rebound and flung a court-length pass to
rookie Gilbert Arenas, who could not get off a shot before the
"That was a surprise," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said.
"Wally's an 80-plus-percent free throw shooter. You wouldn't
expect him to miss two in a row."
"We were going to run a play, but (Szczerbiak) missed the shot,"
Fortson said. "Originally we thought he was going to make the
free throw and we were going to get it out of bounds to run a
play. I tried to throw it up so that Gilbert could get the ball
and maybe he could throw it in there and get a lucky 3-pointer."
Golden State shot a season-high 53 percent (42-of-80) and
limited Minnesota to 40 percent (34-of-85). But the Wolves sank
34-of-40 free throws, while the Warriors made just 14-of-20.
"It wasn't just the free throws at the end of the game," said
Warriors coach Brian Winters. "It was the free throws
throughout the game. When you're the home team and the other
team shoots 20 more free throws than you, I don't think that's
right. I haven't seen that happen this year and I have a real
problem with that."
The Wolves converted 22 Warriors turnovers into 39 points, 20
more than Golden State scored off Minnesota's 11 turnovers.
"We didn't have great rhythm tonight, but we created some
turnovers and scored off them," Saunders said. "Our zone took
them out of sync. When we were in it we went up. Then we go
back to a man-to-man and they make a run. Our zone pretty much
bailed us out today."
Golden State won the battle of the boards, 47-39, paced by
Fortson's 13 rebounds, and outscored Minnesota in the paint,
"It's just like playing an East Coast team," Garnett said. "They
throw it on the glass. You can't come in here and take these
Minnesota point guard Terrell Brandon came off the bench to play
17 minutes and score eight points. Brandon made 4-of-4 free
throws in the final 22 seconds after replacing Billups, who left
the game with 32 seconds left after Jason Richardson kneed him
in the right thigh. Brandon had missed the previous 16 games
after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
"Flip told me to stay ready even before Chauncey got injured and
I told him to put me in there if it came down to free throws,"
Brandon said. "I told him that there is a reason why I am
leading the league in free throws. There is that time when you
come in cold but you have to forget about that and shoot them
with confidence, and that is what I did."
Bob Sura scored a season-high 23 points and Jamison also had 23
to lead the Warriors, who lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
They have dropped four of their last five home contests.
"Antawn was terrific," Winters said. "Bobby was great off the
bench. I thought everybody played well. We had nice efforts from
a lot of people. It was a good game."
The bench, paced by Sura's 23 points and Erick Dampier's 12,
outscored the Wolves' reserves, 46-26.
The first half saw seven lead changes and seven ties and ended
at 51-51 after Minnesota erased a 48-39 deficit over the final 4
With the score knotted early in the third quarter, Minnesota
went on a 12-2 run to take the game's sole double-digit lead at
73-63 on a pair of free throws by Rasho Nesterovic with 4:35
left. Golden State cut the deficit to 77-75 entering the final
"We're playing hard, but it isn't good enough," Fortson said.
"But you know what, we're continuing to play hard and eventually
the ball is going to bounce our way. Eventually, we are going
to get a call from the referees and eventually things will turn