MINNEAPOLIS – Kevin Garnett had 22 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Los Angeles Clippers 93-78.

Garnett, who was facing former teammate Sam Cassell for the second time in three nights, made up for Saturday’s loss. He had missed a jump shot in the lane in the closing seconds of overtime during the 100-99 defeat in Los Angeles.

Elton Brand had 26 points and eight rebounds to overshadow Cassell (11 points on 3-for-10 shooting) in his return to Minnesota since the August trade that sent him to California for Marko Jaric. The Clippers became the last Western Conference team to lose after a 3-0 start that was their best since 1985.

Michael Olowokandi had 10 points for the Timberwolves against the team that made him the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, and teammate Wally Szczerbiak scored 15.

Brand tied the game at 44 with a short jumper and then gave Los Angeles the lead for the first time on a free throw with 56 seconds left before the half.

But Minnesota broke away in the third quarter, holding the Clippers to a season-low 12 points and showcasing the style that new coach Dwane Casey has tried to instill – push the ball up the court as much as possible and play smart, relentless defense on the other end.

Garnett fed Szczerbiak for two fast-break dunks, including a one-handed reverse that made it 61-55 midway through the period. The Wolves carried that momentum into the fourth, starting with a unique lineup featuring Garnett, energy man Mark Madsen and three point guards – Jaric, Anthony Carter and Troy Hudson.

Garnett sank a pair of mid-range jump shots and then two free throws for Minnesota’s first six points, and Carter’s layup after a botched alley-oop attempt to Garnett on a break capped an 18-4 run and gave the Wolves their biggest advantage – 75-59 with just over 9 minutes remaining.

Notes: Small forward Corey Maggette and point guard Shaun Livingston have yet to play for the Clippers this season because of a strained left hamstring and a lower back injury. … Szczerbiak hit the game’s only 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter. It was also his first make from behind the arc in 13 attempts this season. The Wolves took 11 3s, and Los Angeles missed all 13. … Minnesota has beaten the Clippers seven straight times at home.

AP-ES-11-07-05 2242EST


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