Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 12/4

Game 1: Sunday, December 4th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 13th
Game 3: Sunday, March 19th

Timberwolves 85

(9-6, 3-4 away)

Kings 77

(7-10, 6-5 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    6:00 PM ET, December 4, 2005

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 25 23 18 1985
    SAC 21 15 18 2377

    Top Performers

    Min: W. Szczerbiak 18 Pts, 9 Reb

    Sac: M. Bibby 14 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 85 77
    FGM-FGA 32-74 (.432) 32-76 (.421)
    3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 1-10 (.100)
    FTM-FTA 19-27 (.704) 12-20 (.600)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-47 9-36
    Assists 15 17
    Turnovers 19 17
    Steals 9 5
    Blocks 3 0
    Fast Break Points 13 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 16 2

    Top Performers

    Wally Szczerbiak Szczerbiak
    Points: 18
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Mike Bibby Bibby
    Points: 14
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0