Garnett had 29 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, and the
Timberwolves beat the Pacers 78-71 Saturday night to snap a
four-game losing streak.
Throughout his 12-year career, the star forward has gladly
shared the scoring load with his teammates. The Pacers had no such
luck on Saturday -- Garnett took 26 shots ---- the most he has
attempted this season ---- and made 14.
With the Timberwolves reeling, Garnett decided it was time to
"I just said I'm not going to let us be like this," Garnett
said. "I'm going be assertive more than ever. To hell with the
Garnett got help from his team's defense. The Timberwolves held
the Pacers to 39 percent shooting and a season-low point total.
The Pacers scored 21 points in the second half. It was the
third-fewest points an NBA team has scored in a second half since
the shot clock was introduced in 1954.
"I thought our defense was better in the second half," Garnett
said. "We were more connected, came out with a lot more energy. At
the end of the day, defense won this game for us."
The Pacers had won two in a row and four of five. They took a
one-point lead into the fourth quarter, but shot 5-for-20 in the
final period and finished with their lowest point total of the
Indiana shot 75 percent in the first quarter, but 39 percent for
the game. The Pacers were disappointed that they failed to maintain
their offensive intensity after the first quarter, and weren't sure
why they couldn't.
"Your guess is as good as mine," guard Stephen Jackson said.
"I have no idea. Jamaal played hard, but not the rest of us. It
was like they knew all our plays. Just another game we let slip
The Pacers took a 32-20 lead after one quarter, led by as many
as 16 points in the second and were ahead 50-40 at halftime.
"Any time you go up big, you want to step on the other team's
neck and keep them down," Jackson said. "We just didn't keep it
Minnesota started the second half on an 8-0 run, including two
baskets by Garnett and two by Justin Reed, to cut Indiana's lead to
50-48. The Timberwolves tied it at 51 on Craig Smith's free throw
with 5:44 left in the third quarter and finally took a 57-55 lead
on Garnett's long jumper.
The Pacers made just two field goals in the third quarter, but
Sarunas Jasikevicius made a key one, a short leaning jumper in the
lane with 9.6 seconds left. He was fouled on the shot and made the
free throw to give the Pacers a 58-57 lead at the end of the
The Pacers failed to take advantage of getting the Timberwolves
into the penalty with more than 6 minutes left in the third period
and got away with shooting 2-for-16 from the field in the quarter.
The luck eventually ran out.
"We just came out staggering in the third quarter," Indiana
forward Danny Granger said. "It was like we ran out of gas. We
know how to play from behind. We've got to learn how to play from
Minnesota G Trenton Hassell was deactivated before the game
because of the flu. A team spokesman said Hassell woke up ill
Saturday morning and stayed at the team hotel. Hassell had started
every game this season, and the Timberwolves had used the same
starting lineup for all 22 games. ... Minnesota F Mark Madsen
airballed a free throw attempt in the first quarter and some of his
own teammates laughed at him. ... Indiana's 32 points in the first
quarter was its best first period of the season.