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Webber gets front-row view of Pistons' overtime loss

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have gone
from being a team with a losing record to one that's tough to beat
-- especially in overtime -- in the new year.

Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 14 rebounds, Ricky Davis scored
21 and Mark Blount made a key 3-pointer to give Minnesota a 94-90
overtime win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday.


Since the Timberwolves closed 2006 with a 13-15 record, they
have won seven of eight and are 4-0 in overtime this month. Their
lone loss came by only a point.

"It's huge that we've been through these games," Davis said.
"Everything is a little smoother because we know we can win them
and we've been there a whole lot of times. They picked it up on us,
but we came back."

Blount's 3-pointer -- just his fourth of the year -- beat the shot
clock with 12.8 seconds left to give Minnesota a 92-88 lead.

"He had to shoot when he got the ball because of the shot
clock, but give him credit for knocking it down," Pistons coach
Flip Saunders said.

Richard Hamilton, who scored 32 points, made free throws on the
ensuing possession to pull the Pistons within two before Garnett
sealed the win at the line.

Both teams had opportunities to win in regulation.

Antonio McDyess blocked Randy Foye's layup, Rasheed Wallace
grabbed the rebound and the Pistons called timeout with 3.3 seconds
left. Minnesota wisely fouled Hamilton before he could take a shot
because the Pistons had to take the ball out of bounds because they
weren't in the bonus. Hamilton then missed a shot just before the
buzzer.

"We had our chances, but we didn't execute like we should
have," Detroit's Tayshaun Prince said. "We did a good job of
forcing the game into overtime to give ourselves a chance, but we
had a couple defensive breakdowns. Foye made a big 3 in the corner
that made the difference in overtime."

Foye scored five of his 11 points early in overtime to help
Minnesota take a 87-82 lead.

Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said his team is playing well
because its roster has been stable for a change.

"It means everything that we've been together," Casey said.
"We had the big trade last year, and we got three key guys in
October, and I've been saying all along that we just need time
together.

"Last year, everyone said they couldn't win close games, and
now look at us."

Before the game, Chris Webber said he will join the Pistons when
he becomes a free agent Tuesday. The five-time All-Star was waived
by the Philadelphia 76ers last week. He becomes an unrestricted
free agent after clearing waivers Tuesday, freeing him to sign a
new deal.

"That has to put them in the driver's seat in the East," Casey
said. "It adds a lot."

Webber was greeted by a standing ovation early in the first
quarter when he arrived to watch the game with his father from
front-row seats. It was a much warmer welcome than he had
previously at The Palace because of his involvement with deceased
Michigan booster Ed Martin that led to NCAA sanctions.

Trenton Hassell had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Blount scored
10. Garnett also had six assists, five blocks and two steals.

McDyess had a season-high 16 points and Carlos Delfino also
provided a boost off the bench with 10 points. Flip Murray had 12
points and nine assists and Prince had 12 for the Pistons. Wallace
scored just three points on 1-of-11 shooting before fouling out in
the final seconds.

The Pistons fell to 3-5 without Chauncey Billups (right calf).
They hope to have him and Webber on Wednesday night at home against
Utah.

"We could use anything right now," Prince said. "We've been
playing so up and down, more down as of late because of Chauncey.
When he's not out here, it's a whole different mind-set and
structure. He's the guy that knows where we like the ball and he
keeps us under control and he makes plays for us when we need
them."

Game notes
Webber watched the second half from a suite with Pistons
president of basketball operations Joe Dumars. ... Detroit's
Lindsey Hunter (Achilles tendon) played after missing 18 games. ...
The Timberwolves were without Marko Jaric (right thumb) and Rashad
McCants (right knee) along with Eddie Griffin (drug suspension).