Now, they have to wait and see if the NBA decides to keep the
former MVP on the sidelines even longer.
Ricky Davis scored a season-high 35 points to help the
Timberwolves overcome Garnett's ejection and defeat the Grizzlies
105-99 on Sunday. Garnett was tossed in the third quarter for
flipping the ball into the stands and accidentally hitting a fan.
The nine-time All-Star was reacting in frustration after being
called for an offensive foul with the Wolves leading 64-61 with
7:47 left in the quarter.
"I just tossed it," Garnett said outside Minnesota's locker
room before leaving the arena at the start of the fourth quarter.
"I didn't even look at where I tossed it. I was just so ... mad."
Garnett said he didn't intend to throw the ball into the stands,
but rather was trying to get a delay-of-game call.
Referee Bob Delaney assessed Garnett a technical foul for
tossing the ball, and he was automatically ejected because it hit
the fan. Afterward, Garnett walked over to the fan to apologize
before leaving the court.
Medical personnel examined the fan, who was wheeled from the
court on a gurney to boos and later walked with his family and
arena personnel to a back room. The fan declined to comment to the
media. His condition wasn't immediately available, although he
appeared to be uninjured.
"That's something you don't want to happen in sports," Wolves
coach Dwane Casey said. "Nobody feels worse about it than Kevin."
Garnett had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Casey, though, said the incident rallied his players, who had
lost their first two games coming off the All-Star break, including
a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer on Friday against Denver.
"He just told me (before leaving), 'Just run the team, make
stuff easy, and let's get this victory," said Marcus Banks, who
made his first start for Minnesota since being acquired from Boston
"They did a good job of using that as motivation," Grizzlies
forward Shane Battier said. "I think we let up a little bit and
didn't take advantage of having their best player out of the
Davis, who went 15-for-20 from the free-throw line, had 15 of
his points in the fourth quarter. His previous season high was 33.
Davis left the arena without speaking with reporters.
On any other night, Davis would've been the story of the game,
but not with Minnesota's franchise player uncharacteristically
losing his cool. Television cameras showed a young girl sitting
next to the fan in tears after the incident.
Asked if he was afraid Garnett would be suspended for
Minnesota's game at Chicago on Tuesday, Casey sounded optimistic.
"It was just a total accident," Casey said.
Paul Gasol, who finished with 23 points to lead Memphis, hit two
free throws with 5:04 to play to make it 88-86. But Davis sparked a
10-2 run with three free throws, including a three-point play with
2:36 to go to make it 98-88.
Davis sank two foul shots with 22.4 seconds remaining to give
Minnesota a 103-95 lead. He added two more foul shots on two
separate trips to the line in the closing seconds to set his new
Chucky Atkins' 22 points were a season high with Memphis since
being signed as a free agent last month. But Atkins had 18 of his
points in the first half. The seventh-year guard hit back-to-back
3-pointers midway through the second quarter to give Memphis a
37-35 lead, capping a 22-12 Memphis run that erased an 11-point
lead for Minnesota.
Memphis played without swingman Eddie Jones (sore left
foot). Jones, who's averaging 12.5 points per game in his first
year with the Grizzlies, tweaked the foot during Friday's loss to
San Antonio. It was only the third game the 12-year veteran has
missed this season. ... Blount went 5-for-5 for 12 points in the
first quarter, but only attempted two shots the rest of the way.
... Davis has scored 33 points four times this season.