DENVER, April 27 (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett
and the Minnesota
Timberwolves dealt with the rough stuff and have made it very
tough for the Denver Nuggets.
NBA TV highlights from|
Garnett had 27 points and 14 rebounds and got plenty of help
from his teammates as the Timberwolves hung on for an 84-82
victory over the Nuggets and a commanding 3-1 lead in their
Western Conference first-round series.
"Sometimes you've got to let a sleeping dog sleep, and they've
been doing a real good job of throwing gasoline on the fire,"
Garnett said. "We heard the comments, we just sat back, waited
for the game to be played. Now we're in position to close it
Kevin Garnett imposed his will on his team's Game 4 victory.|
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images
After a subpar performance in Game 3 that had the Nuggets
belittling the Timberwolves, Garnett arrived at the Pepsi Center
three hours before game time to work on his shooting. The
favorite for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award wanted to set a tone for his
top-seeded team, which never has won a playoff series.
The eighth-seeded Nuggets also tried to set an early tone. In
the first three minutes, Nenę
shoved Garnett into the seats on a
fast break and Marcus Camby
kicked him while grappling for a
Garnett withstood the physical play to make 8-of-17 shots,
including a miraculous reverse layup that teetered on top of the
backboard before dropping through, giving Minnesota a 78-74
lead with 4:26 to play.
The Nuggets closed to 81-80 with 1:23 left on consecutive
3-pointers by Voshon Lenard
, who was 6-of-7 from the arc and
scored 28 points. Minnesota's Latrell Sprewell
answered with a
3-pointer 20 seconds later.
A dunk by Nenę with 18 seconds to go halved the deficit, and the
Nuggets had a chance to tie after Sprewell missed two free
throws with 12 seconds left. But Andre Miller
-- defended by
stopper Trenton Hassell
-- missed a pull-up jumper and Lenard
missed a wild follow shot.
After the horn, Sprewell started jawing face-to-face with
Nuggets guard Jon Barry
before strutting off the court. He and
his teammates were showered with beer and debris thrown from the
"We won't be back to go through that again," Sprewell said.
"I'm tired of hearing him talk," Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony
The Wolves got a huge lift from Hassell, who scored 10 of his 14
points in the pivotal third quarter, made five steals and shut
down Anthony. The rookie star made just 1-of-16 shots, twisted
his knee in the third period and was benched midway through the
"It was a team effort. I can't take credit for that," Hassell
said. "I rely on my teammates and just hope he isn't hitting
"Carmelo was out because he was hurt," Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik
said. "He has a sprained knee, which will be evaluated
Minnesota hosts Game 5 on Friday.
"We are a veteran team and we are tough at home," Sprewell said.
"I don't think that they will beat us at home."
Anthony was 0-of-9 in the first half, which ended in a 36-36
tie. Hassell added some offense to his defense in the second
half, scoring six quick points to give Minnesota the lead for
"You have nights like this; it just happened to be Game 4 of
the playoffs," Anthony said. "The last time I had a night like
this was Indiana in the preseason."
"To be honest, Carmelo needs to move a little better without the
ball," Bzdelik said.
Just over a minute after Anthony leaked out for a layup, he
landed awkwardly while grabbing a rebound and twisted his left
knee and ankle. He went to the locker room with 5:03 left and
returned to action about four minutes later, wearing a knee
A dunk and follow shot by Hassell gave the Wolves their largest
lead at 64-55 before two 3-pointers by Lenard cut the deficit to
66-63 entering the final period. Hassell had a driving layup
to rebuild the lead to 75-67 with 6:05 to go.
scored 15 points and Sprewell added 13 for
Minnesota, which has lost seven straight first-round series.
Miller scored 13 points and Camby swept 14 boards for
Denver, which shot less than 36 percent (33-of-92).