<
>

Szczerbiak scores 30 as T-Wolves bite Bucks

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- It took six stitches and a trip to the locker
room to calm Kevin Garnett down. It took him just two minutes back
on the court to get the Timberwolves up again.

Garnett had 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists -- doing most
of his damage after receiving stitches in the chin in the third
quarter -- and Minnesota beat the Milwaukee Bucks 99-91 Friday
night.

"It relaxed me and I was actually able to think clearly,"
Garnett said of being stitched up.

Said coach Dwane Casey: "The good thing is he got a rest and I
probably wouldn't have been able to give him a rest."

Milwaukee went on an 11-0 run midway through the third to take a
64-56 lead. During the stretch, Garnett got hit in the chin by Mo
Williams on the defensive end, was bleeding and had to leave the
game.

Milwaukee led 68-65 going into the fourth and 73-70 when Garnett
returned with 9:59 left in the game. Minnesota's star immediately
went to work, scoring the Wolves' next 10 points to give them an
80-77 lead with 7:22 left.

"That was a huge lift," Wally Szczerbiak said. "K.G. can do
that every fourth quarter."

"You got to take one for the team," Garnett joked.

Szczerbiak had a season-high 30 points and Marko Jaric added a
season-high 24 for Minnesota, which improved to 6-1 at home.
Trenton Hassell scored 12 points and Troy Hudson had 10.

Michael Redd scored 28 points and Jamaal Magliore had 14 points
and 10 rebounds to lead the Bucks, who have lost three of four.
Williams had 13 points, T.J. Ford had 12 and Bobby Simmons added
11.

"We had control most of the game. Unfortunately, we didn't have
it at the end," Redd said.

Minnesota extended its lead to 90-80 with 4:22 left after
Garnett's run, on Hudson's three-point play and Jaric's 3-pointer.
The Bucks could not get closer than five points the rest of the
way.

"The fourth quarter, we didn't do a good job of stopping a play
they ran that was pretty effective and we didn't handle very
well," coach Terry Stotts said.

Both teams shot well at the start, with the Bucks making nine of
their first 12 shots and Minnesota shooting 8-for-12. Szczerbiak
was 6-of-7 in the first quarter and scored 14 points to lead the
Wolves to a 28-26 advantage.

Szczerbiak kept up the momentum, scoring four points in an 11-0
run to start the second as Minnesota took a 39-26 lead. But the
Bucks responded with 17 straight points, including 11 from Redd, to
take a 41-39 lead. The Wolves were held scoreless for 7:17 and
Milwaukee led 42-41 at the break.

"At halftime Casey came in and jumped our butts," Garnett
said.

"Wally and Marko had super games and we just rode those guys,"
he added.

Bucks rookie Andrew Bogut, who broke his nose Wednesday night,
said he felt fine before the game and played with a protective
mask. He finished with no points and two rebounds in 15 minutes.

Game notes
In the second quarter, Garnett came down on Magliore's foot
on a jumper and appeared to twist his left ankle. He stayed in the
game, but was noticeably in pain for a few minutes. Afterward, he
said there was "nothing to the ankle, just six stitches." ... At
the end of three quarters, Milwaukee held a 13-2 advantage on the
offensive boards. But, in the final quarter Minnesota got four
offensive rebounds to the Bucks' one.