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Garnett, Timberwolves end four-game skid vs. Pacers

Dec 24, 2006 - 7:39 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Superstar Kevin Garnett singlehandedly got the Minnesota Timberwolves out of their funk.

Garnett collected 29 points and 19 rebounds as the Timberwolves snapped a four-game losing streak with a 78-71 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Garnett connected on 14-of-26 shots en rout to recording his 22nd double-double this season. The perennial All-Star is averaging 25.2 points and 13.2 rebounds over his last four games.

"Whenever you lose, you want to bounce back as quick as possible," Garnett said. "It really ticked me off, the way we started the game. I just asserted myself more and the second unit came in and gave us a lift. At the end of the day, it was the defense that won the game for us."

The win was the first for Minnesota at Conseco Fieldhouse since November 2001.

Minnesota trailed, 50-40, at halftime but turned things around after intermission. The Timberwolves outscored the Pacers, 17-8, in the third, cutting the deficit to 58-57 at the start of the fourth period.

The Pacers' third-quarter performance tied the fewest it has scored in any NBA contest.

"We just came out staggering in the third quarter," Pacers swingman Danny Granger said. "It was like we ran out of gas."

The Timberwolves took the lead for good behind an impressive 10-2 surge capped by Garnett's slashing layup with 4:47 left for a 72-66 bulge.

"We kept out composure, stayed patient and our defense got us back in the game," Garnett said. "Collectively in second half, we were like a machine."

The Pacers were never able to recover thereafter.

Indiana's 21 points in the second half was the third lowest in NBA history since the shot clock was introduced.

"Well, we couldn't make shots," Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal said. "In the second half, they were putting two and three guys on me, making it tough for me to get touches. The combination that you don't want is for a guy like me not to get touches and us not be able to hit shots from the outside.

"Both of those things happened in the third quarter and really gave them a rhythm. They took advantage of our inability to score."

First-round pick Randy Foye scored 10 off the bench for Minnesota, which shot 39 percent (31-of-79) from the floor and forced 18 turnovers.

"(Randy) is a strong guard," Garnett said. "He has a rare combination of strength, agility and quickness. Once he gets his mid-range game down, he'll be one of the best guards ever."

Jamaal Tinsley poured in 22 points and O'Neal chipped in 11, 11 rebounds and five blocks for the Pacers, who jumped out to a 32-20 advantage after the opening quarter.