Kevin Garnett made his first big statement in a bid for a second consecutive MVP award. Garnett scored a season-high 35 points with 18 rebounds and nine assists, and the Minnesota...
MINNEAPOLIS Kevin Garnett made his first big statement in a bid for a second consecutive MVP award.
Garnett scored a season-high 35 points with 18 rebounds and nine assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied to beat the Sacramento Kings 113-105 last night.
Playing before their largest crowd of the season, the T-wolves trailed for most of the first three quarters before using a 18-3 burst in the fourth to turn a four-point deficit into a 109-98 lead with 2:57 remaining.
Garnett scored 10 points and had five assists in a fourth quarter in which he was teamed for most of the period with four reserves Fred Hoiberg, Eddie Griffin, Troy Hudson and Trenton Hassell. That quartet combined for 22 points and ignited the crowd of 19,101.
Garnett compared his role on the team to that of an MVP in a different sport.
“The luxury of this team is that I’m like Peyton Manning,” Garnett said. “My job is to get everybody touches. Granted, I make the game easier for a lot of people.”
Said Griffin, “He’s the toughest player in the league to guard. He can score when he wants, and if you try to double-team him, he’ll find the open man.”
Garnett hit four free throws to tie the score at 95, then zipped a cross-court pass to Hoiberg for a three-pointer and a 98-97 advantage, the Timberwolves’ first lead since 6-5.
“He amazes me every night,” Hoiberg said. “It’s always something different.”
Griffin added 18 points for Minnesota, and Sam Cassell scored 14 of his 15 points in the second half.
Chris Webber had 25 points for the Kings, Mike Bibby had 21, and Bobby Jackson added 19 against his former team.
“We had ’em,” Webber said. “Their energy went up, and we didn’t keep our groove. And when they’re feeding off their crowd, you know they’re going to try to make a run.”
The loss ended a four-game road winning streak for Sacramento.