Final - OT
  for this game

Blount's big shot helps TimberWolves continue surge

Jan 16, 2007 - 2:03 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Mark Blount and the Minnesota Timberwolves once again flourished in overtime.

Blount hit a crucial 3-pointer with 12 seconds left as the Timberwolves captured their seventh win in their last eight games with a 94-90 road victory over the slumping Detroit Pistons.

It was the third straight win overall and first against the Pistons in three games for the Timberwolves, who received 19 points and 14 rebounds from superstar Kevin Garnett.

Despite being the team's leading scorer and rebounder, the 6-11 Garnett was not a major factor in the extra session, scoring just two points on free throws with 4.3 seconds left for the final margin.

In fact, it was long-range shooting that won it for Minnesota, which improved to 4-0 in overtime games in January. The Timberwolves went 3-of-4 from the arc in the extra session.

"We love making it close," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "Detroit played with a lot of effort, but we kept going. Kevin played 49 minutes and Ricky (Davis) played 48 minutes, but they didn't look fatigued."

Minnesota, which is tied for 26th in the league in 3-point shooting at 32.2 percent, finished just 5-of-8 from the arc despite the late spurt.

"That was the one thing that hurt (us) more than anything was the 3-point shot," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "We missed a couple rotations, left a couple guys open in corners for 3-point shots. They hadn't shot that much but they ended up making some crucial ones down the stretch."

After Detroit's Antonio McDyess opened the extra session with a jumper, Davis answered with a 3-pointer from the left corner, making it 82-81 with 4:22 left. Davis finished with 21 points.

Rookie Randy Foye added a jumper and another shot from the arc, extending the lead to 87-82 with 3:16 to play.

Foye scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.

"He's got a lot to learn, but he hit a couple big shots," Casey said. "He's young, and he know he needs to learn, but he's doing a good job."

The Pistons, who lost for the fourth time in five games, closed within 89-88 on two free throws by Richard Hamilton with 1:14 left.

Blount, who scored 10 points, delivered the dagger with the shot clock winding down, taking a pass from a double-teamed Foye in the right corner and sinking his fourth 3-pointer in 10 attempts this season, making it 92-88.

"He had to shoot when he got the ball because of the shot clock, but give him credit for knocking it down," Saunders said. "He made a big three."

Minnesota's Trenton Hassell also was a factor with 15 points and 11 rebounds, including eight off the offensive end.

"Trenton Hassell killed us," Saunders said. "He had eight offensive rebounds and really hurt us as far as inside."

With expected signing Chris Webber in attendance, the Pistons forced overtime on Flip Murray's layup with 65 seconds left in regulation that tied it, 79-79.

Casey believes that the addition of Webber along with the expected return of point guard Chauncey Billups from a calf injury soon makes the Pistons the heavy favorite in the Eastern Conference.

"That changes everything," he said. "You are adding two All-Stars, quite possibly two Hall of Famers, to a pretty good lineup. That has to put them in the driver's seat in the East. It adds a lot." Hamilton scored 32 points but had a basket at the end of regulation wiped out by a foul call. He missed a jumper at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.

Finishing 13-of-25 from the field, Hamilton also missed a couple of other key shots late in the fourth quarter that could have tied the game earlier or given Detroit a lead.

Coming off a timeout with Detroit trailing, 77-75, with 3:07 left, the 6-7 guard was off the mark on a curl off a screen from nine feet out. He also missed a 3-point attempt with 2:20 to go.

"We had our chances," said Prince, who had 12 points and seven assists. "Once again, we just didn't execute as we should have. We did a good job of forcing the game back to overtime and giving ourselves a chance but we had a few defensive breakdowns. We just didn't make plays when we had to."