NBA: Wolves blast Wizards in KG’s return
MINNEAPOLIS -- "KG" chants bellowed throughout Target Center before tip-off as he returned to the team that drafted him with the fifth-overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft out of Farragut Academy in Chicago.
MINNEAPOLIS - “KG” chants bellowed throughout Target Center before tip-off as he returned to the team that drafted him with the fifth-overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft out of Farragut Academy in Chicago.
In Kevin Garnett’s first game back with Minnesota since being acquired from the Brooklyn Nets last week, the Timberwolves beat the visiting Washington Wizards 97-77 on Wednesday.
In his re-debut, “The Big Ticket” played 19 minutes and scored five points with eight rebounds in a limited role for the 38-year-old.
His first point was a free throw at the 4:15 mark of the second quarter.
“I was so locked in trying to prepare for the game, it actually felt like my rookie year,” Garnett said. “I am happy to be here.”
However, it was the other Kevin, Kevin Martin, who would steal part of the spotlight with a game-high 28 points.
Center Nikola Pekovic recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while rookie Andrew Wiggins, coming off a 30-point outburst against the Houston Rockets on his 20th birthday on Monday, chipped in 19 as the Wolves have now won two out of three games after the All-Star break.
Minnesota scored 30 points in the second and third quarters, and held the Wizards in check defensively.
Washington All-Star point guard John Wall contributed just five points, going 2-for-10 shooting and dished out 10 assists.
In the last meeting between the two teams on Dec. 16, Wall went off for 21 points and matched a career-high with 17 assists in the Wizards’ 109- 97 win.
From the three point-line, the Wizards were ice-cold connecting on 17 percent of their attempts.
Martin Gortat scored nine points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while NeNe Hilario scored 12 points.
The Wizards have now lost five straight.
A Kevin Martin 3-pointer at the 9:32 mark in the second quarter gave the Wolves a 51-48 advantage and they held the lead the remainder of the game.
The first quarter was sloppy for both teams as they combined for 31 total points, with Washington holding a nine-point advantage 20-11. Minnesota shot 23.8 percent from the floor and fell behind by as much as 15 during the quarter.
Two key injuries limited the Wizards with Bradley Beal and Paul Pierce both out due to injuries.
Minnesota (13-42) challenges the Chicago Bulls 7 p.m. Friday at the United Center.