T'Wolves Bite At Grizzlies


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."

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  • Added Szczerbiak, who was also strong on the transition break, "I give (Garnett) a lot of credit because he was going to us early and we were establishing a bit of an outside game. And that made his life a lot easier the rest of the game."

    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.

    Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 15 points and 11 rebounds, recording his ninth-straight double for the Grizzlies. They also got 20 points from Othella Harrington.

    "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."

    Notes

  • The T-Wolves' 11-game road losing streak included their season-opening loss to Sacramento in Tokyo, because Minnesota was designated as the "road team" in that contest. The Timberwolves were the "home team," when they beat Sacramento the following night.
  • An announced crowd of 12,493 was on hand at GM Place on a busy Sunday afternoon of sports. Across the street at B.C. Place, the Canadian Football League's B.C. Lions played in the Western Conference final.
  • Grizzlies backup point guard Brent Price went 2-for-4 from 3-point range, and 10-for-15 in his last four games.

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