Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/17

Game 1: Thursday, November 17th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 21st

Wizards 98

(5-3, 2-2 away)

Timberwolves 109

(4-4, 4-1 home)

6:00 PM ET, November 17, 2005

Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
WSH 26 21 31 2098
MIN 26 31 22 30109

Top Performers

WSH: G. Arenas 33 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast

Min: K. Garnett 25 Pts, 13 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl

Garnett, Timberwolves stave off Wizards comeback

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevin Garnett's play drew nearly as much attention as his pregame criticism of Minnesota Timberwolves vice president Kevin McHale.

Garnett had 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to lead Minnesota to a 109-98 victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

"He dominates in the first three quarters and in the fourth quarter, everybody pays attention to him and he finds everybody else," Gilbert Arenas said. "That's why he's No. 1 in the world."

Wally Szczerbiak scored 17 points, and Richie Frahm and Troy Hudson added 16.

"It took a little load off me," said Garnett, of his teammates' scoring.

Garnett then handled questions about his pregame comment on TNT that last year McHale, "wanted in his heart to coach, but he didn't want the responsibility of being a coach."

McHale took over for the fired Flip Saunders halfway through a disappointing season, filled with player bickering and lackluster performances.

"Kevin has a very, very high basketball IQ," Garnett said after the game. "But managing egos and things, I don't think he wants to do that."

McHale said he knows Garnett was frustrated with last season, in which the Wolves failed to make the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.

"I hope he wants to be here," McHale said after the game. "There's a lot of uneasiness in the changes we've made."

One of major changes was hiring Dwane Casey, and Garnett made sure to say that he thinks the coach has the team on the right track. Garnett did not express any unhappiness with being in Minnesota.

"There has been not one negative thing about KG," Casey said in response to the pregame comments. "I love the guy."

Six Timberwolves players scored in double figures as Minnesota snapped a two-game losing streak.

Arenas had 33 points and Caron Butler added 15 for Washington, which has lost two straight. The Wizards had five players in double figures, but no one could prevent Garnett from filling up the stat sheet.

"When he gets going, it's hard to stop him," Butler said. "What makes him special is he was finding his teammates and they were knocking down shots."

"He had an X-factor in Richie Frahm coming off the bench," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "I can't fault my guys for that."

After building a 15-point lead, Minnesota let Washington back in the game in the third quarter. But, two hustle plays and Frahm's shooting, restored the Wolves' double-digit lead midway through the fourth.

With the Wolves hanging on to an 86-83 lead, Szczerbiak dove for a loose ball and passed ahead to Frahm for a dunk. Then, after Hudson took a charge, Frahm hit a 3-pointer to make it 93-83 with 6:07 left.

"We just played with a sense of urgency and we knew we had to get this one," Hudson said.

The Wizards did not get closer than eight points the rest of the way as Frahm hit two more 3-pointers down the stretch.

Minnesota shot 53.5 percent from the field with Garnett hitting 12-of-19 shots and Frahm hitting 6-of-7.

The Wolves extended a 10-point halftime lead to 76-63 on Marko Jaric's dunk with 3:17 left in the third. Butler then sparked a run with four straight points as the Wizards began to cut the deficit.

Arenas hit two straight 3-pointers to complete the 15-3 run and bring Washington within 79-78 heading into the fourth.

Garnett shot 5-for-6 from the field in the second quarter, including a 20-footer at the buzzer to give Minnesota a 57-47 halftime lead.

The score was tied at 26 after one quarter.

Game notes

The Wolves outrebounded the Wizards 45-31. ... Minnesota (52) and Washington (44) combined for 96 points in the paint. ... The Wolves have beaten the Wizards six straight times in Minnesota. ... Arenas, Butler and Antawn Jamison, who entered the game averaging 65.1 points as a trio, combined for 60.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 98 109
FGM-FGA 37-80 (.463) 46-86 (.535)
3PM-3PA 8-13 (.615) 7-13 (.538)
FTM-FTA 16-19 (.842) 10-12 (.833)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-31 10-45
Assists 14 29
Turnovers 11 14
Steals 7 6
Blocks 5 5
Fast Break Points 9 10
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
Largest Lead 5 15

Top Performers

Gilbert Arenas Arenas
Points: 33
Reb: 5
Ast: 5
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 25
Reb: 13
Ast: 9
Stl: 1
Blk: 0