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Blount, Foye lead Timberwolves over Nuggets

Feb 15, 2007 - 7:16 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Mark Blount and rookie Randy Foye came through to cool off the Denver Nuggets.

Blount scored 24 points and Foye made a big basket in the closing seconds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 99-94 victory over the Nuggets.

Denver led, 88-83, with 5:18 to play before Foye scored on a layup and Blount scored Minnesota's next eight points.

The second of back-to-back jumpers by Blount gave Minnesota a 93-92 lead with 1:28 to play.

"We tried to over-emphasize in our scouting report that Mark Blount is playing as well offensively as Kevin Garnett right now." Denver coach George Karl said. "He made two big shots. I don't know if we were tired or just didn't recognize that he can make that 20-footer. If he misses either one of those we probably win the game."

Denver missed a pair of shots that would have given it the lead on its next possession and Foye came up with a big rebound. The guard then drove hard down the right side of the lane and floated a shot over Nene to extend the lead to 95-92.

"Offensively, we probably played well enough to win tonight," Karl said. "But defensively we didn't and extra possessions and turnovers really hurt us."

Foye and Kevin Garnett each made a pair of free throws in the final 14 seconds to clinch the third win in four games for Minnesota.

"Early on I was rushing a little bit, but at the end I calmed down and tried to take the ballgame over, and if I don't have the shot I try to get somebody else a wide-open shot," Foye said. "I'm not necessarily looking to shoot first, looking to be aggressive. I'm going to take what the defense gives me. That's the main thing they're preaching to me."

Garnett scored 19 points and had 17 rebounds to help give the Timberwolves a 46-30 edge on the boards. Rashad McCants added 12 points off the bench for Minnesota.

"Our energy off the bench was key tonight," McCants said. "In past games when we don't get production out of our second group, we don't really move forward. We rely on the first group to get us out of holes. So for the rest of the year, it is going to be important for our second team to play hard and keep the energy up."

Carmelo Anthony had 28 points, five rebounds and five assists and Nene had 18 points and Steve Blake added a career-high 18 assists for Denver.

Anthony pointed to Denver's shortcomings on the backboards as the main reason its three-game winning streak came to an end.

"That was the determining factor of the game, especially down the stretch," Anthony said. "Randy Foye got a couple, Craig Smith got a couple. Everybody on their team was attacking the basket and that's why we lost tonight."

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