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Olowokandi keys Wolves' surge

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- It took three tries, but the Minnesota
Timberwolves finally found a way to beat the Golden State Warriors.

Kevin Garnett had 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as
the Timberwolves beat the Warriors for the first time this season,
91-81 Friday night.

Minnesota, which has now defeated every other NBA team this
season, lost to the Warriors in both previous meetings and trailed
midway through the third quarter Friday.

"They go to the glass hard, and when they shoot well -- like
they have at home all season -- they can be very dangerous,"
Garnett said. "We slowed them down in the second half, played
aggressively on offense and hit shots."

The Wolves took the lead for good when Garnett beat Mike
Dunleavy for an offensive rebound and swung the ball to Fred
Hoiberg for a 3-pointer to put Minnesota up 62-59. That basket
keyed a 16-4 run that erased a 57-52 Warriors lead.

Michael Olowokandi, who missed 36 games this season after
undergoing knee surgery, keyed the Wolves' third-quarter burst by
making all four of his shots.

Erick Dampier scored a season-high 24 points and had 19 rebounds
for Golden State, and Jason Richardson scored 14 of his 18 points
in the second half.

"We just go out there and execute," Dampier said of his team's
success against the Wolves. "We hit people when they're open and
make them guard us."

Latrell Sprewell scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth
quarter, including a long jumper with 2:20 to play that gave the
Wolves their biggest lead at 89-79.

Sam Cassell returned to Minnesota's lineup after missing one
game with ankle tendinitis and scored 15 points in 29 minutes. Troy
Hudson, who scored 29 points Wednesday in Cassell's absence, had
just four points but also seven assists and played most of the
fourth quarter.

"I'm Troy's biggest supporter," Cassell said. "He helps keep
us afloat and at the top. For me, it's all about winning."

Golden State learned before the game that it would be without
starting point guard Speedy Claxton for a minimum of three weeks.
X-rays taken Thursday confirmed that Claxton sustained a fractured
metacarpal bone in his right hand Wednesday on the first play of
the Warriors' victory over Memphis.

Still, he went on to score a career-high 28 points in 37
minutes. He had started the last 29 games for the Warriors, and
Golden State went 15-14 in that stretch.

"It's kind of a downer because he's been playing so well for
us," Richardson said.

In addition, Golden State forward Calbert Cheaney missed the
game with tonsillitis. Minnesota's Wally Szczerbiak sat out because
of the flu.

Dampier dominated the first half with 18 points and 11 rebounds,
including six dunks. He reached a double-double, his 32nd of the
season, in the game's first 15:11.

Minnesota had an early 14-2 run to a 27-20 lead, but the
Warriors scored the next nine points and led for most of the second
quarter.

Game notes
Garnett finished one rebound short of a double-double for
the second game in a row after getting a double-double in 19
straight games. ... Before the game, the Wolves honored their first
coach, the late Bill Musselman. Wolves coach Flip Saunders
presented Warriors coach Eric Musselman, Bill's son, with a
commemorative basketball symbolizing the Wolves' 15th anniversary.
... Minnesota announced ticket prices for the 2004-05 season.
Prices range from $10 (also the lowest price this season) to $400 a
seat on a single-game basis.

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