Thursday , Mar , 04 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Garnett, ‘Wolves lasso Mavericks

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Kevin Garnett posted game highs of 28
points and 19 rebounds, as the Minnesota Timberwolves routed the Dallas
Mavericks 121-97 at the Target Center.

Troy Hudson came off the bench to add 22 points and Latrell Sprewell chipped
in with 20 for Minnesota, which has won four of its last five games. Michael
Olowokandi netted 14 and Wally Szczerbiak added 10 points in the triumph.

Garnett, who was recently named NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for
February, lived up to his billing. He was strong from the field as he
converted on 11-of-15 shots, including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, and made
all four of his free throws.

“It was definitely a cleansing,” Garnett said of the big win. “We were totally
embarrassed in Philly. Yesterday was a very heated practice and we got after
it. That carried over to tonight.”

Michael Finley and Marquis Daniels each scored 16 points for Dallas, which saw
its six-game winning streak snapped. Dirk Nowitzki struggled on the night,
making just 5-of-13 shots for 15 points. Dallas, known for its three-point
shooting, hit just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.

The Mavericks played their second straight contest without starting guard
Steve Nash. Nash, who is averaging 14.4 points to go along with his 8.3
assists per contest, has been suffering from a stomach virus.

“We were doing a great job and then we let it slip away,” said Dallas guard
Josh Howard, who replaced Nash in the starting lineup. “They played great
defense and knocked down shots as well. When things like that happen, the
score ends up like it did today.”

Minnesota, which led from start to finish, jumped out to a 19-11 lead on a
Garnett basket with under five minutes left in the first quarter. The margin
grew to 11 points at 34-23 after 12 minutes of play.

The Mavericks opened the second frame on a 17-8 burst to cut the deficit to
two points. Howard’s layup capped the run, making it a 42-40 game with around
7 1/2 minutes remaining before halftime. That was as close as Dallas would get
the rest of the way.

Consecutive treys by Hudson sandwiched between a Daniels slam for Dallas, made
it a 48-42 game moments later. Minnesota held a 67-62 lead as both teams
headed into the locker room.

Garnett led all players with 19 points in the first half, while Nowitzki led
Dallas with 15 points in the first 24 minutes.

Sprewell’s trey stretched the Minnesota lead to 11 points, making it a 79-68
game with under seven minutes left in the third. The lead would balloon up to
19 points in the stanza and Szczerbiak’s layup staked the Wolves to a 97-78
cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

Dallas never threatened in the final period, as Minnesota pushed its lead to
25 points late in the game. Szczerbiak’s jumper made it 118-93 with under
three minutes left and Dallas never recovered.

“We were slower on contesting shots, and we weren’t moving with the sense of
urgency like we had the last five or six games,” Mavericks forward Antawn
Jamison said.”