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Garnett, Timberwolves end Suns' 17-game win streak

Jan 30, 2007 - 5:22 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Superstar Kevin Garnett proved that the Phoenix Suns can be beaten.

Garnett scored 15 of his season-high 44 points in the fourth quarter and reserve Mark Madsen provided defense and an emotional lift as the Minnesota Timberwolves posted a 121-112 victory over the Phoenix Suns, snapping their franchise-record 17-game winning streak.

Ricky Davis collected 17 points and eight assists for the Timberwolves, who handed the Suns their first loss since December 28 at Dallas and just their second overall since November 18.

"We competed as hard as we could but we didn't have it tonight," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It's unbelievable that it took 17 nights for it to finally show up a little bit. We have to tee it back up and go at it again."

Minnesota needed a remarkable performance from Garnett to stop high-powered Phoenix, which tied the seventh-best winning streak in NBA history and reeled off the longest since the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won 18 in a row. In addition, the Suns had notched a 15-game streak from November 20-December 19 and had won nine road games during their current run.

"You only get so many miracles," D'Antoni said. "It was our lack of scoring in the fourth. Whether we had tired legs or they did a great job in the zone, the result was that we didn't have enough."

Former league MVP Garnett came up big when it mattered most. The go-to guy down the stretch, he dominated Suns forwards Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw, continually lofting fadeaway jumpers over them in the post. Garnett shot 18-of-29 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line.

"I was just aggressive," Garnett said. "A lot of nights, I'll feel that I have a nice touch and scoring is not the only thing I can do. If I'm able to make someone better on my team, I'll do that. I noticed that they weren't trapping, and doing some different things that they've done in the past, and I wanted to be aggressive against that."

D'Antoni admitted there wasn't much that could be done about Garnett's hot shooting.

"Garnett hit everything and that's why he makes the big bucks," D'Antoni said. "He is hard to handle. They were not easy shots. Boris (Diaw) did a great job on him and that's just how good he is and how good superstars in this league are. On certain nights, you can't turn them off."

A fan favorite, Madsen provided endless defensive energy and shot a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor, whipping the crowd into a frenzy with each positive play.

"If we can't get momentum off this, then something's wrong," Madsen said. "But I do think we can get some momentum here and really make a push to get a high seed in the playoffs."

Trailing by one point entering the final period, Minnesota outscored Phoenix, 27-17, in the final 12 minutes to hold off the Suns.

Steve Nash had 20 points and 18 assists and Raja Bell added 26 for Phoenix, which shot 50 percent (37-of-74).

"It's tough to lose, but you know, we didn't play that bad," Nash said. "I though Kevin was outstanding. They basically played a great game. I would much rather congratulate them and move on."

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