Wolves’ Success in Sacramento Continues
Minnesota 85, Sacramento 77
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 4 (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett had an off night, but it did not stop the Minnesota Timberwolves from posting another victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Wally Szczerbiak scored 18 points and Troy Hudson added 17 off the bench to lead a balanced attack as the Timberwolves cruised to an 85-77 victory over the Kings.
"I know how hard it is to get a win in this arena," Szczerbiak said. "I have a lot of respect for this team and the fans. But we played at a high level, took them out of their game. We just came away with a good team win."
Sacramento (7-10) scored the game's first basket, but that was its only lead as Minnesota (9-6) responded with an 8-0 run and never trailed thereafter en route to its fifth straight road win over the Kings.
"I think Webb took the W's with him when he left," cracked Garnett, a close friend of ex-King Chris Webber. "Maybe (Sacramento) needs to bring Webb back."
Garnett struggled, shooting just 3-of-14 from the field for a season-low 11 points. He hit a pair of late jumpers to avoid scoring less than 10 points for the first time since April 17, 2002 against Denver.
"Wally had it going, Huddy came off the bench and gave us a huge lift like always," Garnett said. "I'm here to win games. I wasn't aware of (my streak)."
With Garnett off his game, Szczerbiak got going early, hitting 7-of-8 shots in the first half and scoring 14 points as the Timberwolves built a 48-36 lead.
"KG was more of a quarterback tonight," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "It was one of those nights where he just couldn't find it. But overall, a win is a win in this league. We're happy to get out with a W."
Minnesota held Sacramento scoreless for a six-minute stretch bridging the second and third quarters, reeling off 12 straight points to push the lead to 14 and igniting a chorus of boos for the home team from the crowd.
"Any fanbase has the right to boo, as well as they support this team," said Sacramento forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who failed to score in double figures for the first time this season. "They cheer real hard for us when we're playing hard, playing the right way. We're not doing that. (The fans) are probably frustrated like we are."
"I'm just really disappointed," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "Somehow, some way, this group has to get some sense of urgency, and they just don't seem like they have it. I wish I knew why."
The Kings put up very little fight in the second half and fell to 6-5 at home as they got nothing from their starting five outside of guard Mike Bibby, who scored 14 points.
Three-time All-Star Peja Stojakovic has made just 11-of-47 shots for 35 points in four games since returning from a bruised right pinky. He shot 4-of-13 for 10 points, missing his last seven shots and only hitting two free throws after the first quarter.
Abdur-Rahim scored six points and center Brad Miller was shut out as the frontourt mates combined to shoot 3-of-15 for Sacramento, which was outrebounded, 26-12, in the first half and 47-36 overall.
Sacramento went with its reserves for the entire fourth quarter and closed within seven points with three minutes left before Minnesota went on a 7-0 run to seal the win.
"It's pretty obvious that I gave (the starters) enough time and nothing was changing," said Adelman. "The group that went in there started really competing, going after it."