Garnett carries Timberwolves past Cavaliers
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Kevin Garnett scored 26 points and pulled
down 11 rebounds, as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Cleveland
Cavaliers, 89-85, at Quicken Loans Arena.
Troy Hudson added 18 points, all coming in the second half, while Wally
Szczerbiak tallied 16 points for Minnesota, which has won two straight and
four of its last five games.
LeBron James torched the Timberwolves for 38 points, but received little help
from his teammates in the loss. The Cavaliers shot a season-low 32 percent
from the floor. Cleveland’s three main free-agent acquisitions — Larry
Hughes, Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall — were a combined 3-of-31 for 13
“We shot 32 percent from the field. We missed shot after shot after shot. Wide
open shots,” said James. “There will be nights like that. We gave ourselves an
opportunity to win at the end, but when you shoot 32 percent against a good
caliber team like that, most nights you are not going to win.”
Drew Gooden scored 12 points and grabbed 12 boards and Hughes added 12 points
for the Cavaliers, who have lost two straight after reeling off eight
A tight game throughout came down to a clutch shot from Minnesota’s franchise
Minnesota took its first lead since the 8:11 mark of the second quarter when
Mark Madsen took an Eddie Griffin air ball out of mid-air and stuck it back in
with 7:32 to go. The Timberwolves extended the lead to four, before a Eric
Snow jumper from the right baseline and a Hughes’ trey from the right wing
gave the Cavs the 75-74 lead with 6:12 remaining.
The teams went back-and-forth throughout the final period, with Gooden’s
follow-up slam cutting Minnesota’s lead to 82-80 with 1:54 left. After a
Garnett miss, James used a crossover dribble to slice into the lane and
finished strong to tie the game with 1:22 to go.
Garnett answered James, using his size to elevate and connect on a 20-foot
jumper to put the Timberwolves in front 84-82 with 56 seconds remaining.
“The play was drawn up and I was just trying to be patient and get some loft
on it,” Garnett said. “A lot of my shots to that point were kind of flat and I
was trying to get some loft. It was a decent shot.”
On Cleveland’s next possession, the Cavs didn’t go to James or Hughes, but
rather Marshall, who attempted a mid-range jumper from the right baseline
that hit the back rim.
The Timberwolves milked the clock on the other end, and Marko Jaric buried an
18-foot jumper from the right baseline to extend the advantage to 86-82.
After Jones missed a three-pointer, Hudson made 1-of-2 from the charity
stripe. A James three-point heave from the top of the circle cut the lead to
two, but Hudson drained two free throws to seal the victory.
A cold shooting opening period saw the Timberwolves hold a 17-16 advantage.
James had 10 of Cleveland’s 16 points.
Cleveland took a 42-37 lead into the locker room, as its two scoring stars
were having very different games. Hughes struggled, shooting 1-of-9 from the
floor in the opening 24 minutes, while James carried the Cavs, scoring 19 of
the team’s first-half points.
Garnett scored 12 points and Szczerbiak chipped in 10 for the Timberwolves,
who committed 11 turnovers.
James continued to carry his team in the third quarter, scoring 11 points, as
the Cavs held a 69-65 lead with 12 minutes to go.
Minnesota has won six of the last seven meetings in the series…The loss was
the first home defeat for the Cavs. In turn, Minnesota picked up its first
road win…After a James slam with 7:36 left in the third quarter, the Cavs
did not score another point in the paint…Griffin tallied seven points and
grabbed 12 boards in the victory.