Kevin Garnett's inside work and rookie Wally Szczerbiak's outside shooting prowess provided an efficient 1-2 punch for the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
Garnett dominated the paint, scoring 15 points and pulling down 14 boards, while Szczerbiak shot 8-for-11 as the Timberwolves snapped an 11-game road losing streak with a 105-81 win over the Vancouver Grizzlies.
"Wally's outside shooting and his explosiveness, he's taking a lot of pressure off the big men because people have to play him for the outside shot, and if you don't guard him, he'll put up big numbers," said Garnett. "So it's sort of like picking your poison, so to speak."
Heck, Szczerbiak was disappointed that he missed three shots.
"I wouldn't mind being 11-for-11 because those shots I missed I should not have missed," he said.
Point guard Terrell Brandon added 18 points and eight assists as the Timberwolves won their fifth game in six outings. Minnesota also beat Vancouver for the 12th time in 13 meetings.
Minnesota's last road win not counting its victory over Sacramento in Tokyo this month was March 24, when it beat the Celtics in Boston.
The Timberwolves got an all-around offensive effort, shooting 55 percent from the field, as nine players shot at or better than 50 percent. Defensively, Minnesota shut down the Grizzlies, outscoring them 50-29 over the final half.
Ahead 55-52 at the half, the Timberwolves took control, outscoring the Grizzlies 25-16 in the third quarter, including a 12-2 run.
Closing the quarter strong, Minnesota bloked three of the Grizzlies' last four field-goal attempts en route to building a 80-68 lead. Radoslav Nesterovic got a hand on two Vancouver shots over that stretch.
The Timberwolves then sealed the victory by outscoring the Grizzlies 25-13 over the final 12 minutes.
The Grizzlies missed nine of their first 10 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter.
"We just came out with a lack of aggression in the second half," said Grizzlies point guard Mike Bibby, who finished with 13 points.
"I think (the Timberwolves) came in and really turned up their intensity in the third quarter," said Grizzlies coach Brian Hill. "I feel I have to take the blame for it. ... I probably didn't do a very good job preparing our basketball team for this game."
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