Garnett Leads Wolves Over Nuggets
Minnesota 103, Denver 89
MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 13 (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett and Wally Szczerbiak continued their 1-2 punch.
Garnett had 31 points and 15 rebounds and Szczerbiak scored 28 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves coasted to a 103-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets, who had their two-game winning streak snapped.
In their last two contests - both wins - Garnett and Szczerbiak have combined to average more than 53 points and 21 rebounds.
"Garnett had control of the first half and Szczerbiak had control of the second half," Denver coach George Karl said. "The size factor was pretty glaring. We weren't big enough to defend Garnett or Szczerbiak in a lot of possessions."
Denver held a 62-61 edge with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter before Minnesota took control for good. The Timberwolves used a 18-4 surge to close out the period as Szczerbiak scored 13 points during the spurt.
"They put a small guy (Andre Miller) on me and I got the ball in positions where I could attack and score," said Szczerbiak, who made 11-of-20 shots. "KG set some great screens where I could get open and hit some threes."
Minnesota was stellar in the third quarter, shooting 68 percent (13-of-19) while outscoring Denver, 30-18. Garnett had eight points and two assists in the period.
"Garnett and Szczerbiak put the Timberwolves on their back in the third quarter and blew the lead wide open," said Denver's Carmelo Anthony, who scored 21 points.
Troy Hudson drilled a 3-pointer and Garnett connected on a jumper as the Timberwolves built a 90-75 advantage with 7:20 left and coasted thereafter.
Rookie Rashad McCants scored 11 points off the bench and Trenton Hassell added 10 for Minnesota, which shot 56 percent (44-of-78).
"Everybody is looking to be aggressive for the full 48 minutes," said Garnett, who added six assists. "That results in turnovers and that puts us where we ended up today."
Kenyon Martin and Miller scored 14 points apiece and Francisco Elson added 11 for the Nuggets, who shot 41 percent (34-of-83).
"The Timberwolves know how to defend," said Karl. "Coach Dwane Casey has brought in that mentality. The big difference tonight (was) they were a better offensive team."