PHOENIX, Dec. 3 (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves showed they intend to be a factor in the Western Conference.

Kevin Garnett had 23 points and 19 rebounds and Latrell Sprewell added 22 points as the Timberwolves continued their impressive road trip with a 97-93 triumph over the red-hot Phoenix Suns.

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The Timberwolves had the best record in the West last season and reached the conference finals for the first time in franchise history. However, they got off to a slow 6-5 start this season.

Minnesota posted an easy home victory over Memphis before embarking on a four-game trip that started with impressive wins at Sacramento and Golden State. In this one, they sent a message to the league's top team.

Entering with a nine-game winning streak, the Suns knew they were in for a battle after ending the first quarter in a 29-29 tie. After Minnesota carried a four-point lead into intermission, Phoenix fought back to take a 70-69 edge entering the final period.

The Suns opened the fourth quarter with six straight points for their biggest lead of the game, 76-69, but Sam Cassell sank three consecutive baskets to draw the Timberwolves within a point.

After Steven Hunter's free throw with 7:41 remaining gave Phoenix a 79-77 edge, Minnesota went on an 8-0 run to move ahead for good.

Cassell scored 19 points and Wally Szczerbiak added 14 for the Timberwolves, who conclude their road trip Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Amare Stoudemire scored 28 points and Shawn Marion recorded his 12th double-double with 21 points and 18 rebounds for the Suns (13-3), who have been handed two of their three losses this season at home.