Jaric, Szczerbiak Rally Wolves by Blazers
Minnesota 84, Portland 74
PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 7 (Ticker) -- A night after a falling in the desert, the Portland Trail Blazers were ousted in the Pacific Northwest.
The Trail Blazers managed just one basket over the final 5 1/2 minutes in an 84-74 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who received big fourth quarters from Wally Szczerbiak and Marko Jaric.
A jumper by Juan Dixon with 10:22 remaining gave Portland its biggest lead at 65-51. However, it was all downhill from there as the Blazers looked like the young, inexperienced team that they are.
Szczerbiak scored 12 points and Jaric 10 in the fourth quarter for the Timberwolves, who used a closing 19-2 run.
After rookie Jarrett Jack's three-point play with 5:34 remaining gave the Blazers a 72-65 lead, they did not score again until rookie Martell Webster made a meaningless jumper with 20 seconds to go.
In the fourth quarter, the Blazers had more turnovers (six) than baskets (four).
Kevin Garnett, who was quiet for most of the game, made an eight-footer in the lane with 5:14 left to trigger the decisive surge.
He followed his own miss with 3:42 left to tie the game before Anthony Carter made a driving layup, Jaric had a steal and layup and Szczerbiak's 3-pointer provided a 79-72 lead with 67 seconds left.
Szczerbiak and Jaric scored 19 points each and Garnett had 16 and 14 rebounds for Minnesota, which won its season-high fourth straight game.
The Timberwolves' rally came after an awful three quarters. They scored just 11 points in the third period, when the Blazers turned a one-point lead at halftime into a 61-51 advantage entering the final 12 minutes.
Zach Randolph scored 15 points and Joel Przybilla had 10 and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, whose losing streak reached a season-high six games.