Wolves Hand Cavaliers First Home Loss
Minnesota 89, Cleveland 85
CLEVELAND, Nov. 26 (Ticker) -- LeBron James scored more points than Kevin Garnett, but it was the Minnesota Timberwolves that came away with their first road victory.
James scored a season-high 38 points compared to 26 for Garnett, but it was the latter who hit a key jumper in the final minute as the Timberwolves posted an 89-85 triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"That's a big monkey off our backs," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "Especially when (the Cavaliers) hadn't lost a home game."
The contest was knotted at 82-82 when Garnett, who made 10-of-14 shots, gave the Timberwolves the lead for good with 57 seconds to go on a remarkable 21-foot jumper just as the shot clock expired. Minnesota inbounded the ball to Garnett with two seconds on the shot clock.
"I just counted in my head," Garnett said. "The play was drawn up and I was just trying to be patient and get some loft on (my shot)."
"(Garnett) made that shot with two seconds on the shot clock that killed it," James said.
After Marko Jaric connected on a long jumper from the right corner, Troy Hudson sank 3-of-4 free throws in the final 11 seconds to preserve the triumph.
Hudson scored all 18 of his points in the second half and keyed a Wolves rally early in the fourth quarter while Garnett was on the bench. Minnesota's bench outscored Cleveland's, 35-7.
"I told (Casey) just bring me off the bench, as long as you let me play my game," Hudson said. "He said that was no problem, so I said bring me off the bench and I'll be happy with that role. I'm just waiting for my opportunities and I try not to force things. When my number is called, I'll do whatever they need me to do. I'm trying to let the game come to me."
Minnesota reserve Eddie Griffin contributed seven points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.
"That's what they want me to do," Griffin said. "Rebound and block shots. We needed this win."
"Our bench play really won the game," Casey added.
James hit six 3-pointers and made 13-of-29 shots, but the rest of the Cavaliers shot under 25 percent (15-of-59). Larry Hughes struggled to a 3-of-16 showing for 12 points and reserves Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones were a combined 0-of-15.
"I thought we had some great looks tonight and from the right people," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "I keep telling our guys that there are going to be nights when we get open looks and they are not going to go down. When that happens we have to get stops, and tonight we didn't get stops."
Cleveland lost despite holding a 48-39 rebounding edge and forcing 16 turnovers.
"It was an ugly game," said Minnesota's Wally Szczerbiak, who scored 16 points. "We had to grind it out and try to steal one. It was a weird way to win, with 16 turnovers and being outrebounded."
The Cavaliers led, 42-37, at halftime and 69-65 going into the fourth quarter.
"We are going to keep getting better," said James, who bounced back from a 6-for-20 shooting performance in Thursday's loss at Indiana. "We are not a great team right now. We are a good team."
"I hope the city of Cleveland appreciates what they have (in LeBron James)," Garnett said. "It's like the Beatles."