MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Kevin Garnett scored a season-high 30 points, Wally Szczerbiak added 25 and the Minnesota Timberwolves won their fifth straight game Saturday night, 95-82 over Los Angeles to stop the Lakers’ winning streak at four.

Marko Jaric had 12 points and a season-best nine assists for the Timberwolves, who never trailed and have already beaten the Lakers three times this season.

Trenton Hassell scored 13 points and played tight defense on Kobe Bryant, who surpassed his average with 35 points and shot 11-for-20 from the floor but never sustained any dominance – save for an eye-popping, up-and-under reverse layup that brought the Lakers to 84-77 with 31/2 minutes left.

Lamar Odom added 16 points and Chris Mihm had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, which made the fourth stop on a six-game road trip and fell back to the .500 mark at 10-10.

Garnett made sure of that down the stretch. He sandwiched jumpers around a missed 3-pointer by Bryant to lift Minnesota to a 91-77 lead with 1:29 remaining. Then Garnett fed Hassell and Szczerbiak, who had 14 points in the second half, for consecutive dunks in the final minute.

Down by as many as 17 points, the Lakers climbed back with an 11-2 run to close the first half and came within four, 58-54, on a 3-pointer by Bryant. Mihm had 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter, mostly against Michael Olowokandi.

A little later Szczerbiak, who scored 34 points in the last meeting against Los Angeles, sparked his squad and the crowd with an off-balance layup that drew a foul on Mihm and a subsequent free throw to make it 66-56. Szczerbiak landed on his back and pumped both fists after hearing the cheers.

The Timberwolves have already won four times this season when they’ve trailed by 10 points or more, twice against the Lakers in games on Nov. 9 and Dec. 2. Last week in Los Angeles, Minnesota launched the winning streak by rallying from a 16-point deficit in the third quarter to win 113-108 after scoring 39 points in the fourth.

The Wolves had no early troubles in this one, though, building a 46-29 lead with 4:19 left before halftime when Garnett found Jaric in the corner for a jumper with a quick sidearm pass from the top of the key. Garnett made a 3-pointer, a shot-clock beating 15-footer and a turnaround hook – all against Odom – on the three previous possessions.

Kwame Brown, who finished with two points in 13 minutes, was back for the Lakers after missing the past three weeks with a strained hamstring.

Coach Phil Jackson has been needling the fifth-year power forward about his toughness this week, and before the game Jackson took another subtle shot when he announced Brown would was going to be on the 12-player active list unless something happened “in the next 15 minutes.”

Notes: Backup point guard Troy Hudson missed his second straight game for Minnesota, after undergoing a precautionary MRI test on his left knee. He’s day-to-day with his injury, diagnosed as a strained calf. … Lakers point guard Smush Parker, who has scored at least 20 points six times, went scoreless in both games at Target Center this season. … Eddie Griffin, who had four points in 24 minutes, played with the flu. … Despite four straight wins and 11 out of 17, the Timberwolves still trail the Lakers in the series, 45-20.

AP-ES-12-10-05 2227EST


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