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 Slow Second Half Stings Wolves

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PostSubject: Slow Second Half Stings Wolves   Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:41 pm

For 12 seasons, Kevin Garnett produced many wins for the Wolves franchise. Friday night was no different, except Garnett was wearing a green and white jersey. The former MVP made his presence felt throughout the 95-78 Celtics victory. Garnett jump-started Boston in the third quarter with eight points as his squad outscored Minnesota 35-10 after the Wolves held a three-point lead at halftime. Garnett led the Celtics in scoring with 17 points and Paul Pierce grabbed 11 boards.

“We just let up," Kevin Love said. "They played far more physical than we did. They were hitting us before we hit them and they came out and they plugged us in the third quarter. We should have came out and should have hit them first. Including myself, I’m not just talking about my teammates. That was just a good team effort by the Celtics and that’s what they do. They really turn it on in the second half.”

Despite a slow start, Al Jefferson finished the game with 23 points and four rebounds on 8-of-20 shooting from the field. Jefferson's struggles were a microcosm for the Wolves difficulty of putting the ball in the basket. Mike Miller only attempted four shots and the team recorded a 31 shooting percentage as Celtics displayed their second-ranked championship defense.

"He's another one I think that's got to slow down, number one, and he's gotta serve himself to find more than four shots. I think slowing down would do that a little bit for him to see some of the opportunities he was passing up. He's just gotta stick with it," head coach Randy Wittman said

The game started with a standing ovation for Garnett from the sell-out Target Center crowd during the announcement of the visiting starters. Garnett missed his first couple of shots, including a fadeway jumper that he made famous while wearing a Wolves uniform. Ryan Gomes was off to a strong start behind 3-of-4 shooting but the former Celtic did not make another shot after the first quarter and would miss his next seven attempts.

"It was a tough shooting night for us tonight and I thought it caught up to us from the standpoint that we relented to it and we didn't try and fight through and find ways, number one to get to the free throw line more when our jump shot isn't going," Wittman said.

The Wolves bench would outplay the Boston second unit in the second quarter. The shooting touch remained absent for Minnesota but the team attacked the basket to force Kendrick Perkins and Leon Powe to sit down with three fouls apiece. At halftime, the Wolves held a three-point lead despite shooting 27 percent from the field.

Minnesota dropped to 2-9 on the year while the Celtics improved to 12-2. The Wolves will practice tomorrow before hitting the road for a contest at Detroit and the new-look Pistons with Allen Iverson.
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