Wolves now sport worst NBA record
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Marcin Gortat scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and Aaron Brooks added 19 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 108-98 victory Wednesday night that gave the Minnesota Timberwolves the worst record in the NBA.
Minnesota has now lost 11 consecutive games and 22 of its past 26.
Michael Beasley scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were playing again without the injured All-Star forward Kevin Love (groin).
With Cleveland's victory at Toronto, the Timberwolves' 17-62 record put them at the bottom of the league.
Hakim Warrick and Grant Hill each scored 17 points for the Suns, who had lost six of seven and four straight on the road.
Steve Nash and Hill sat out the entire second and fourth quarters. Nash, who scored six points, finished with nine assists, coming just short of his 50th double-digit assist game this season.
With Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry mixing up his rotation against the Timberwolves, the Suns led by 15 points in the first half but didn't secure the victory until the final minutes.
Minnesota was within 89-85 Anthony Randolph made a pair of free throws with less than 10 minutes to play. The Suns quickly got the lead back to double digits with an 8-2 run and it grew from there.
Consecutive baskets from Gortat gave Phoenix a 105-92 lead with 2:22 to play.
Love has now missed six of the past eight games because of a groin injury, but Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis refused to say that the forward is done for the season.
Darko Milicic, who injured his left ankle in Friday's loss to Miami returned briefly for Minnesota. Milicic, however, played only 10 minutes after reinjuring the ankle.
For much of the first half, Phoenix appeared to be on its way to an easy victory. When Vince Carter drove to the basket and dunked with 3:41 to play in the first half, Phoenix led 52-37.
But Minnesota closed the half on a 16-4 spurt and trailed 56-53 at the break.
NOTES: Minnesota assistant coach Reggie Theus is expected to interview Thursday for the coaching vacancy at UNLV, his alma mater. ... Milicic announced Wednesday he will raffle off his 2004 NBA Championship ring he won with the Detroit Pistons and proceeds will go to support hospitals and organizations fighting life threatening childhood diseases. ... Gortat recorded his eighth double-double in the past 11 games. ... The Suns have won seven consecutive games against Minnesota. ... With Love out, Anthony Tolliver made his first start of the season for Minnesota. ... Minnesota has now allowed opponents to score at least 100 points 59 times this season. They are 6-53 in those games.