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T'wolves Ground Raptors


The Toronto Raptors' ticket office gave Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves some added motivation.

Garnett had 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as Minnesota beat Toronto 107-85 on Friday night.

Before the game, the Timberwolves were reminded that they've never won in Toronto. Each game ticket read: "In the team's 4-year history the Raptors are undefeated at home against Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves."

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Game Summary

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  • "The whole thing with the tickets, the fact that we've never won up here, the fact that we didn't get much rest, we used that to focus tonight," Garnett said.

    Garnett narrowly missed the third triple-double of his career.

    "We ticket thing motivated us. The guys were fired up," Garnett said. "I had to get my teammates involved and they responded."

    The 6-foot-11 forward dominated from start to finish. Drawing double coverage, Garnett had five assists in the first 5:30 as the Timberwolves took an 18-15 lead.

    He made five of his first six shots, finished with 18 points in the first half, and helped Malik Sealy score 14 and Joe Smith add 10 as Minnesota led 59-46 at the half.

    The Timberwolves, who average a league-leading 26 assists, had 22 assists the first half.

    "Whenever we have a high amount of assists we win the game," Garnett said.

    The Timberwolves began the second half on a 12-4 run. Wally Szczerbiak made a layup, Garnett hit two free throws and two 12-foot jumpers, Radoslav Nestorovic made a hook shot, and Terrell Brandon made an 18-footer during the run.

    Sealy added a 17-footer, and Garnett made it an 18-10 run with a jumper and a layup that made it 77-56 with 4:07 remaining in the third. He finished the quarter with 13 points.

    Anthony Peeler's off-balance 3-pointer made it 93-72 with 6:12 remaining in the game.

    Vince Carter led Toronto with 23 points, but he went to the line just four times. Tracy McGrady, now a starter, had 20 points and nine rebounds.

    "Garnett's a good player. He plays hard, he likes to win and he showed it tonight," Carter said.

    Sealy and Brandon each finished with 18 points.

    "Everybody looked at the tickets and said we've got to bust out butts and change this," said Minnesota forward Joe Smith, who had 16 points.

    Notes

  • Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders didn't need any reminding that his team hasn't won in Toronto. Saunders wanted to change his luck by flying to Toronto on Friday morning instead of making the trip after Thursday night's game, as they usually do after back-to-backs.
  • Before the game, Toronto coach Butch Carter said starting McGrady was the "biggest risk I've ever taken since I've been here. If he doesn't play well he definitely won't be back here." McGrady is a free agent this summer.
  • Garnett has reached double figures in scoring in 182 games, the longest current streak in the NBA.
  • Minnesota forward Sam Mitchell did not make the trip to Toronto because of an ankle injury.
  • Garnett made all six of his free throws, and was 11-for-17 from the field.

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