PHOENIX (AP) -- Kevin Garnett has had many great nights, but
never one quite like this.
Garnett had his fourth triple-double of the season, including
the go-ahead baseline jumper with 1:04 to play, and the Minnesota
Timberwolves beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 on Sunday night.
''He does everything,'' coach Flip Saunders said. ''He makes big
plays, makes big plays for others and keys a lot of what we do on
defense. I think down the stretch he was very much in control.''
In fact, Garnett had his triple-double after three quarters, and
finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists.
''I'm a winning kind of guy. My teammates know not to come to me with that kind of stuff until the game is well in
hand,'' Garnett said. ''But no, I can't ever remember having a
triple-double after three quarters.''
Minnesota had lost the first three games on its road trip, with
the final stop Monday night in Dallas.
''That's exactly what this was, a must-win,'' Garnett said.
''You can't paint it any other way.''
All five starters scored in double figures for the Timberwolves,
who outscored Phoenix 9-2 over the final 1:04.
''He's a team player,'' Peeler said. ''That's what separates him
from everybody else.''
The game was tied for the last time at 96 on Penny Hardaway's
driving layup with 1:25 to play. Garnett's 13-foot baseline jumper
with three seconds left on the shot clock put Minnesota up for good
On the Suns' next possession, Stoudemire was called for a moving
screen. Szczerbiak followed with a 3-pointer with 40.1 seconds to
go to make it 101-96, and Minnesota sealed it with free throws.
The Suns had two other late turnovers when Marion, then Hardaway
were called for stepping on the out-of-bounds line.
''I thought it was a clean, fair screen,'' Stoudemire said. ''We
had three calls there that totally turned the game around.''
Coach Frank Johnson said he'd have to look at the tape to see
whether it was a good call.
''It doesn't matter what I think,'' Johnson said. ''That's what
Marbury, who was trying to break around Stoudemire's screen,
wouldn't comment on the offensive foul call.
''A couple of calls just didn't go our way,'' Marbury said. ''We
played well enough to win that game.''
Marbury scored eight points and Joe Johnson seven, including a
pair of 3-pointers, in a 23-8 second-quarter run that put Phoenix
up 56-49 with 1:43 left in the half.
But Garnett scored nine points in the final 2½ minutes of the
half to cut the Suns' lead to 60-57 at the break.
After three quarters, Garnett had 25 points, 13 rebounds and 10
assists, and the Timberwolves led 82-76.
Minnesota went on a 13-2 spurt to take an 80-70 lead on
Nesterovic's inside basket off a pass from Garnett with 2:71 left
in the third quarter. But Stoudemire scored four, including a tough
offensive rebound in traffic, in an 8-0 spurt that gave Phoenix an
88-86 lead on Hardaway's 16-footer with 5:54 to play.
After that, there were three lead changes and three ties before
the Timberwolves pulled away.
Dan Majerle, one of the most popular players to wear a Suns'
uniform, was added to the franchise's 'Ring of Honor' during a
The game was the Suns' third home sellout of the season.
... Among those on hand on to honor Majerle were Ring of Honor
members Connie Hawkins, Alvan Adams, Walter Davis and Tom Chambers.
... Stoudemire is on track to become the first player since Garnett
to come directly out of high school and average in double-figures
scoring in his first NBA season. ... Garnett has come one assist shy of
a triple-double six times this season.
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