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Szczerbiak, Hudson lift Wolves past slumping Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Wally Szczerbiak and Troy Hudson
helped the Minnesota Timberwolves overcome Kevin Garnett's shooting
problems.

Szczerbiak scored 18 points and Hudson had 17 in the
Timberwolves' 85-77 victory over the slumping Sacramento Kings on
Sunday night.

Garnett, 3-for-14 from the field, had a season-low 11 points and
also finished with 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have won
two straight and six of eight overall to take over first place in
the Northwest Division.

The Minnesota star made a 17-foot bank shot with 54.4 seconds
left to extend his streak with double-digit scoring games to 261.

"It happens. Rhythm-wise I didn't have it going," Garnett
said. "I did other things to effect the game. Shooting-wise it was
pretty tough on me."

Minnesota won for the fifth straight time at Arco Arena, dating
to March 5, 2003.

The Timberwolves took control of the game for good with a 23-15
second quarter when they dominated on the boards and pestered
Sacramento at the defensive end.

"It was a good grind-it-out game, a kind of game we needed to
play through," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "We had to play
through the frustration. We had a lot of turnovers and we talked
about it at halftime."

The Kings have lost three straight games and are an
uncharacteristic 6-5 this season at home and 7-10 overall.

"Yeah, I'm embarrassed, I know we are better than what we're
doing. I know that," said Kings guard Mike Bibby, who had 14
points.

Michael Olowokandi added 13 points and Trenton Hassell had 10
for Minnesota, which maintained a double-digit lead through much of
the second half.

The Kings went through nearly a 9-minute stretch late in the
second quarter and carrying over to the third when they scored just
two points.

Sacramento shot 42 percent and made just 12 of 20 free throws.
The Kings never led after the opening minutes and elicited some
rare boos from their loyal crowd.

"I think if there are any games the fan base or the community
wanted to boo it was probably this one," Shareef Abdur-Rahim said
after scoring a season-low six points.

Kenny Thomas added 11 points, and Corliss Williamson and Peja
Stojakovic had 10 each for Sacramento, which did not play its
starters in the fourth quarter.

Despite committing 14 turnovers and getting just four points
from Garnett, the Timberwolves led 48-36 at the half.

"I know it looks glaring having 14 turnovers at half, but we're
still up 12 points, so that means we're playing more aggressive
than we were against the Lakers and Clippers," said Szczerbiak,
who had a season-high nine rebounds.

Game notes
Getting 17 minutes as a reserve was a good 32nd birthday
present of sorts for Williamson, who has not played in nine of 17
games this season. ... Szczerbiak was 7-of-8 from the field in the
opening half and scored 14 points. ... The teams missed a combined
10 3-pointers before Hudson made one late in the third quarter.