Davis, Garnett Lift Wolves Past Sonics
Minnesota 102, Seattle 92
MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 15 (Ticker) -- Ricky Davis and Kevin Garnett helped provide a fitting result for the Seattle SuperSonics in their final game before the All-Star break.
Davis scored 25 points and Garnett had 23 and 15 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 102-92 victory over the Sonics, who lost their sixth straight game.
"This is a completely different team than last year," Seattle coach Bob Hill said. "We've lost a lot of size. (The guys we had here last year) were tough and teams had to think twice about driving the ball. This year it's two rookies (Johan Petro and second-year center Robert Swift). They're going to be really good, but they're 20 years old. Are they ready right now to help us win? I don't know."
Since the end of last season, the Sonics have had two coaching changes. Nate McMillan left to coach Portland and replacement Bob Weiss was fired in early January.
Davis scored 20 of his points in the first three quarters as the Timberwolves built an 80-73 lead. They put the game out of reach with a 10-4 surge to start the final period to take their biggest lead at 90-77 on Marcus Banks' driving layup with 6:44 remaining.
"It (the win) can be ugly and I don't care," Garnett said. "A win's a win. I t's better than a loss. And we needed a win."
"We've lost the third quarter all year long," Hill said. "I put them in an aggressive game plan. I've done a lot of things to try to get us off on the right foot in the third quarter. But we didn't attack their press very well and it got us out of our offense."
Trenton Hassell added 12 points and Anthony Carter and rookie Rashad McCants had 10 apiece for Minnesota, which completed a 1-4 homestand and won for the second time in nine games overall.
"(A win) does help the mood," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "But even after our losses, I like the way our team is coming together. We got the shots we wanted and held a high scoring team to 10 points below their average. All these things will pay off down the road."
Minnesota shot 45 percent (34-of-76), made 30-of-35 free throws and held a 43-32 rebounding advantage.
"Like us (Seattle) has been struggling," Hassell said. "Both teams needed a win tonight so we knew it was going to be survival of the fittest."
Ray Allen scored 23 points - just two in the fourth quarter - for Seattle, which is on its longest losing streak since also dropping six in a row in February 2003.
"Trenton Hassell did a great job of taking (Allen) off the 3-point line," Garnett said. "He made him drive. Ray's probably one of the best catch and shoot guys in this league. He made Ray give up the ball and force other guys to make plays."
"Ray Allen has played two straight games and hasn't shot a free throw," Hill said. "You can't tell me he's not getting fouled. That's a concern and a frustration that I got."