Garnett scored 28 points and tied a career high and franchise
record with 24 rebounds, and Szczerbiak returned from a foot injury
with 19 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Milwaukee
Bucks 114-110 Thursday night.
Garnett went 20-20 in points and rebounds for the ninth time in
his career as the Wolves extended their winning streak against the
Bucks to seven games.
"I wish I could say the ball came to me,'' Garnett said. "But
I had to get after it. I just tried to be aggressive.''
Garnett scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds during a seesaw
fourth quarter that featured nine lead changes and four ties.
His biggest rebound came in the final seconds, an offensive
board with the Wolves leading 112-110. Garnett tipped the ball over
to Troy Hudson, who clinched the game by hitting two free throws
with 0.7 seconds remaining.
"KG played like a superstar tonight,'' Szczerbiak said. "I
couldn't even think 'rebound' and he was grabbing everything in
Minnesota also benefited from Szczerbiak's return. He shot
6-for-13 in 35 minutes in his first action since injuring his left
foot Oct. 8 in an exhibition game against the Bucks.
"Adrenaline carried me,'' Szczerbiak said.
The Wolves needed everything Garnett and Szczerbiak could
provide to overcome the Bucks' hot-shooting guards. Milwaukee's Sam
Cassell scored 22 of his 32 points in the first half and Ray Allen
added 18 of his 27 in the third quarter.
The Bucks led 85-83 entering the fourth, but Szczerbiak hit a
3-pointer with 8:18 remaining to give Minnesota its first lead of
the quarter, 93-92. The teams traded the lead eight more times
before Garnett hit two free throws with 3:09 remaining to put
Minnesota up 101-100.
The Wolves forced a turnover on the ensuing possession, then
Kendall Gill hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:38
remaining to make it 104-100.
"We had the game under control until we left Gill open in the
corner,'' Allen said.
Minnesota extended the lead to six points on Hudson's jumper,
but Allen cut it to 111-110 with a layup. Gill made one of two free
throws, with Garnett getting the rebound on his miss.
"He's got length, intensity, desire and good hands -- all
qualities that make you a great rebounder,'' Milwaukee coach George
Karl said of Garnett. "It's like he's got a mission not to let
them lose a home game right now.''
The Wolves improved to 4-0 at Target Center. They are 0-2 on the
Milwaukee's Toni Kukoc was ejected with 5:54 remaining in the
second quarter after picking up two quick technical fouls.
Kukoc was assessed a personal foul while fighting for a rebound
with the Wolves' Kevin Garnett. Kukoc complained to referee Jason
Phillips and was assessed a technical. When Phillips turned away,
Kukoc kicked the basketball in his direction.
Phillips did not see the kick, but fellow referee Derek
Richardson did, and immediately tossed Kukoc.
Szczerbiak played 15 minutes in the first half and scored 12
points on 4-of-7 shooting as the Wolves led 56-54 at the break.
Garnett also had 24 rebounds on Dec. 14, 2001 against
Sacramento. ... Minnesota's Rod Strickland's first-quarter assist
gave him 7,500 for his career. ... Milwaukee assistant coach Sam
Mitchell played for the Wolves from 1995 to 2002. ... Garnett has
recorded a double-double in all six of the Wolves' games. ...
Minnesota was the first non-Atlantic Division team the Bucks have
played this season.