MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Wally Szczerbiak tied a franchise record with
44 points and Kevin Garnett had 14 points and 19 rebounds as the
Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Chicago Bulls 119-95 Sunday.
Szczerbiak went 19-for-26 from the field and hit a
buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to match
Tony Campbell's team mark, set Feb. 2, 1990 against the Boston
Jamal Crawford scored 22 points and Jay Williams had 18 to lead
the Bulls, who finished 3-38 on the road this season. Their only
victories away from the United Center were against Boston, Atlanta
Szczerbiak scored 15 points in the opening quarter and was on
the receiving end of an impressive alley-oop dunk from Troy Hudson.
Szczerbiak had a quiet second quarter, but he scored 22 in the
third to help the Timberwolves pull away.
With his team leading by 10, Szczerbiak hit a 17-footer, a
3-pointer, a runner in the lane and another 3 to give Minnesota a
70-55 lead with 8:04 to go in the third.
After Rasho Nesterovic dunked to give the Wolves a 74-60 lead,
Szczerbiak made another 3-pointer and followed it with a runner
before Chicago called timeout. On the way back to the bench,
Garnett extended his arms and repeatedly bowed behind Szczerbiak,
bringing loud applause from the crowd.
The Timberwolves began the day in fourth place in the Western
Conference playoff race, a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles
Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers, who played each other
Sunday. The top four teams in the conference get home-court
advantage in the first round.
Minnesota is looking to secure the home court for the first time
in its history, which would be a big step toward advancing past the
first round for the first time. The Timberwolves close the regular
season Wednesday in Memphis.
The Bulls had won three of their previous four games, including
a 95-86 win over New Jersey on Friday. But their offense looked
disorganized in the second half.
The Bulls held the lead briefly in the second quarter, but the
Wolves closed out the half with a 19-4 run to go ahead 56-46.
The Bulls placed F Donyell Marshall (shoulder) on the
injured list before the game and activated G Fred Hoiberg. ... The
Wolves' 37-point third quarter was their highest output of the
season. ... Minnesota won its seventh straight over the Bulls,
dating to the 1997-98 season. ... Bulls F Eddie Robinson missed his
second straight game with a migraine.
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