Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/14

Game 1: Saturday, December 14th
Trail Blazers98Final
Game 2: Saturday, January 18th
Trail Blazers98
Game 3: Sunday, March 16th
Trail Blazers95Final
Game 4: Sunday, April 6th
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Trail Blazers 98

(23-15, 12-6 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 18, 2003

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 25 26 26 27104
    POR 23 30 23 2298

    Top Performers

    Minnesota: K. Garnett 31 Pts, 20 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Portland: B. Wells 32 Pts, 13 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl

    Garnett gets 31 points, 20 boards for T-Wolves

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- When Kevin Garnett woke up Saturday morning, he was expecting to face star power forward Rasheed Wallace in a few hours. When game time arrived, his opponent was a second-year man making his first start.

    Kevin Garnett

    Garnett took advantage of the mismatch, scoring 31 points and grabbing 20 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 104-98 Saturday night.

    "We missed Rasheed's presence,'' Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "He's long and gives Garnett a good challenge.''

    The Blazers played their first of seven games without Wallace, who was suspended Saturday without pay for confronting and threatening a referee outside the Rose Garden following a game Wednesday.

    "It hurt a little bit of their flexibility, no question,'' Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "The game Rasheed was coming off when he got 38, you want to have that guy in your lineup.''

    Second-year forward Zach Randolph made his first career start in place of Wallace and had four points and three rebounds in 23 minutes, and spent most of his time on the court guarding Garnett.

    "I thought Zach did OK,'' Cheeks said. "He's not used to starting and he may have been a little nervous. When you have to get your first start and guard a great player like Kevin Garnett, it's kind of tough.''

    Rod Strickland, a former Blazer, had 12 points and 10 assists for the Timberwolves, who won for the third time in four games. Wally Szczerbiak had 16 points off the bench.

    The Timberwolves took control of a close game early in the fourth with an 11-2 run. Portland got to within two at 100-98 with 18 seconds left, but Szczerbiak hit a pair of free throws to push the margin back to four with 17.4 seconds left.

    Derek Anderson then missed a 3-pointer with about 10 seconds remaining, and came down on a defender's foot and rolled his ankle. Garnett iced the game with a pair of free throws for the final margin.

    "We didn't lose our poise,'' Saunders said. "We got the ball to the right people, KG got Wally the ball as far as free throw situations, and Rod made some big plays.''

    Bonzi Wells did his best to make up for the loss of Wallace, tying a season-high with 32 points and had 13 rebounds in his first action after missing two games with a sore left foot to lead the Blazers, who had a two-game winning streak snapped.

    "It's tough,'' Wells said. "Sheed's our best player. He wasn't here today and everybody has to step up.''

    Anderson had 19 points and six assists for Portland. He said after the game his ankle was OK.

    Minnesota was without guard Troy Hudson, who missed his third straight game because of a left ankle he sprained Monday against Denver.

    Portland heads out for a four-game road trip, starting Monday in Memphis. The Blazers also head to Atlanta, New Orleans and Dallas before returning home on Jan. 28 to face Denver. A road game at Utah the next night completes Wallace's suspension.

    Game notes

    In six games since returning to the lineup after missing two games with a sprained ankle, Anderson is 26-for-68 from the field, including just 2-for-15 from behind the 3-point line. He has shot better than 50 percent just once in his last 11 games. ... Wells wore armbands with No. 30 written in ink in honor of Wallace. Reserve guard Jeff McInnis wore a headband similarly inscribed.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 98
    FGM-FGA 40-89 (.449) 33-82 (.402)
    3PM-3PA 1-7 (.143) 3-19 (.158)
    FTM-FTA 23-26 (.885) 29-37 (.784)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-49 10-40
    Assists 24 21
    Turnovers 12 11
    Steals 7 6
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 6 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (2/0) 24 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 31
    Reb: 20
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Bonzi Wells Wells
    Points: 32
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0