Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Friday, November 4th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 28th
Game 3: Wednesday, February 15th
Game 4: Friday, March 10th

SuperSonics 95

(12-15, 4-7 away)

Timberwolves 108

(14-12, 9-6 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 28, 2005

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 15 26 26 2895
    MIN 30 21 28 29108

    Top Performers

    Sea: R. Evans 15 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Min: K. Garnett 26 Pts, 10 Reb, 6 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Wolves take advantage of Seattle turnovers

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled for several seasons to find a reliable center. Eddie Griffin sure looked the part Wednesday night.

    Making his first start of the season due to a banged-up frontcourt, Griffin recorded his second double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and blocked four shots in Minnesota's 108-95 win over Seattle.

    Combined with Wally Szczerbiak's 30 points and Kevin Garnett's 26 points and 10 rebounds, Griffin helped the Wolves snap their two-game losing streak. The Wolves won for only the second time in eight games.

    "As long as he is playing at that level, he is our starting center," Wolves coach Dwane Casey said of Griffin, who wasn't available to reporters after the game.

    With starting center Michael Olowokandi sidelined by a right elbow injury and backup Mark Madsen limited by a bruised back, Minnesota kept a three-guard lineup for most of the game with Garnett and Griffin up front.

    The smaller lineup helped the Wolves shoot 58 percent. Griffin went 8-for-11 from the floor -- including 2-for-4 from 3-point range -- and his defense and rebounding helped set up several fast breaks that led to dunks and easy layups for Minnesota.

    "The game is so much easier when we get the ball up the floor," Szczerbiak said.

    Szczerbiak shot 12-for-18 from the floor and 3-for-5 from behind the arc. Casey said Minnesota focused on setting up Szczerbiak, a dangerous perimeter shooter who's led the Wolves in scoring in 11 of 13 December games. He's topped 20 points in each of the past nine games, the longest such streak of his career.

    "My philosophy is any open look is an open look," Szczerbiak said.

    Said Casey: "Kevin and Wally are playing at an All-Star level."

    Seattle helped out, too: The Sonics committed 22 turnovers that led to 28 points.

    "We shot ourselves in the foot," Ray Allen said. "I thought we were so close to busting open, but we gave it away."

    Minnesota led 76-52 in the third quarter before Seattle climbed back into the game with a 20-4 run to make it 80-72 with 8:45 to play. But Garnett energized the crowd with a dunk, and Szczerbiak added a fast-break layup and followed with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 87-72.

    "We had a turnover, missed shots and Wally hits a 3," Seattle's Damien Wilkins said. "I don't know exactly how it went, but we were right there and then 60 seconds later we weren't."

    Seattle, which didn't come closer than 10 points the rest of the way, responded by losing its cool, as Danny Fortson was ejected after arguing with the officials.

    Allen led Seattle with 24 points, while Reggie Evans and Wilkins each had 15. Rashard Lewis scored 14.

    Ronald Murray started for Seattle two nights after dislocating two fingers on his right shooting hand in Monday's victory against Boston, in which he scored a season-high 29 points. He went 1-for-12 for three points against the Wolves.

    Game notes

    Seattle had won four of the last five meetings against Minnesota. ... Sonics G Luke Ridnour didn't travel with the team due to a chest injury he suffered last Friday against Dallas. A team spokesman said it was possible Ridnour would meet the team Thursday in Denver, although coach Bob Weiss didn't sound optimistic. "He was feeling nauseous so I doubt he'll be there." ... Garnett fouled out for the second time this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 95 108
    FGM-FGA 35-79 (.443) 43-74 (.581)
    3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 6-13 (.462)
    FTM-FTA 19-25 (.760) 16-28 (.571)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-45 6-32
    Assists 14 31
    Turnovers 22 18
    Steals 9 9
    Blocks 3 8
    Fast Break Points 10 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (2/0) 24 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 0 24

    Top Performers

    Reggie Evans Evans
    Points: 15
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 26
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1