Friday , Nov , 03 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Timberwolves try to strike gold again in Denver

(Sports Network) – The Minnesota Timberwolves attempt to start a season with
two straight wins for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign when they
visit the Denver Nuggets tonight at the Pepsi Center.

Minnesota plays the first of a four-game road trip. On Wednesday, All-Star
Kevin Garnett posted 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves over
the Sacramento Kings, 92-83, at the Target Center in the season opener for
both clubs.

Troy Hudson scored 15 points for the Timberwolves, who finished the 2005-06
season with a disappointing 33-49 record and failed to qualify for the
playoffs for the second straight season. Trenton Hassell ended with 13 points
in the victory.

The Timberwolves, who will also visit Portland, Sacramento and the Lakers on
the current swing, was a dismal 9-32 on the road last season.

Denver, which plays the opener of a brief two-game homestand, started its
season Thursday with a loss. Veteran Sam Cassell scored 35 points and hit the
winning free throws with 12 seconds left, as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the
Nuggets 96-95 at the Staples Center.

Star forward Carmelo Anthony had 15 points for the Nuggets, but was ejected
with 8:22 left in the third quarter after throwing his headband in the
direction of official Tom Washington following the argument of a charging
foul. It was Anthony’s second technical foul. His first came after arguing a
foul call in the opening minute of the third period.

J.R. Smith tallied 21 points for the Nuggets, who lost to the Clippers in five
games in the Western Conference quarterfinals last season. Marcus Camby
finished with 16 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Guard Andre Miller had a horrific night for Denver, going 0-for-11 from the
field to finish with five points and seven assists.

The Nuggets are scheduled to host Stephon Marbury and the New York Knicks on
Wednesday. Denver was a solid 26-15 at the Pepsi Center in 2005-06.

The Nuggets won three of four from the Timberwolves last season and Minnesota
has dropped two straight at Denver.