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Archive for Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Webber torments T’Wolves

Veteran scores 27, adds 21 rebounds in OT victory

December 13, 2005

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— This game was vintage Chris Webber, maybe even better.

Webber dominated Kevin Garnett defensively, dunked and drove like a spry, younger version of himself and powered his way to the basket on a night Allen Iverson never really got going.

"I'm up for the challenge," Webber said. "I'm not by any means dead yet."

Webber had 27 points and 21 rebounds, and Iverson added 19 points and 10 assists to help the Philadelphia 76ers win their third straight game, 90-89 in overtime over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

"He was our best option in terms of putting the ball in his hands," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "I thought his defense on Garnett was just excellent."

After the Sixers wasted a 10-point lead in the final 41â2 minutes of the fourth quarter, Webber scored the go-ahead basket in overtime and made two key blocks on Garnett that denied the tying field goals.

Webber nearly came up with a steal in the final seconds, but disrupted the ball enough that Minnesota got one last look on an inbounds pass with 0.4 seconds left. Szczerbiak tossed a pass to Garnett, his shot was off the mark and the Sixers escaped with a win they almost gave away.

Webber went 13-for-25, his 18 defensive rebounds were a career best and he controlled the game much like he could when he was with Sacramento and regularly going up against the premier power forwards in the Western Conference.


Minnesota Timberwolves' Trenton Hassell (23) guards Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson (3) in the first half of the 76ers overtime victory. Philadelphia beat Minnesota, 90-89, Monday in Philadelphia.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Trenton Hassell (23) guards Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson (3) in the first half of the 76ers overtime victory. Philadelphia beat Minnesota, 90-89, Monday in Philadelphia.

"I was touching the ball in my comfort spots and that's all I ask is to get the ball in my comfort spots and be able to try and do something," Webber said.

Wally Szczerbiak scored 23 points, Garnett had 19, and Marko Jaric added 14 points and 10 assists for the Wolves, who ended a five-game winning streak that had sent them to the top of the Northwest Division.

"We slowed down Iverson and (Kyle) Korver, but then Webber comes up and bites us," Wolves coach Dwane Casey said.

Both teams lead their divisions, though with this victory putting the Sixers at .500 (11-11), it's hard to imagine this game as a possible preview of the NBA Finals.

Then again, wilder things have occurred, like the creaky Webber leaving his feet on more than one shot, Korver scoring on a three-point play instead of three-pointers and reserve Shavlik Randolph adding key baskets - all in a wild fourth quarter.

Bucks 112, Knicks 92

New York - Reserve Dan Gadzuric scored a season-high 18 points, and Milwaukee won its third straight.

Michael Redd finished with 31 points to lead Milwaukee, which has won six of seven and improved to 10-1 against Eastern Conference teams. Maurice Williams added 15.

Rookie Channing Frye scored a career-high 30 points for the Knicks, who dropped their third straight. Nate Robinson and Eddy Curry each had 15.

Lakers 109, Mavs 106

Dallas - Kobe Bryant swished a shot with 34.9 seconds left that was spectacular even by his standards - about a 30-footer falling away with a hand in his face and the shot clock expiring - to send the Lakers past the Mavericks.

Bryant scored 43 points, including a three-pointer that tied it at 97 and his amazing three that put the Lakers ahead 104-102. Bryant was forced to put up the long shot from the right wing because Dallas center DeSagana Diop had knocked the ball from him at the top of the key. Bryant knew the 24-second clock was running out, so he heaved it up with Adrian Griffin coming at him.

Diop had a chance to tie it for Dallas after that, but missed his second foul shot. Los Angeles stretched the lead to four on a free throw by Bryant and a pair by Luke Walton, who had rebounded Bryant's missed second free throw.

After a three-pointer by Devin Harris got the Mavericks back within one with 8.5 seconds left, Smush Parker made two free throws to give the Lakers the winning margin. Dallas' Jason Terry missed a three at the buzzer.

Hornets 91, Suns 87

Phoenix - J.R. Smith scored a season-high 26 points, including four free throws in the last 17.6 seconds, and New Orleans held off Phoenix to snap a five-game losing streak.

Desmond Mason added 22 points, and rookie Chris Paul had 19 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and four steals for the Hornets, playing their third road game in four nights.

New Orleans never trailed after an early 5-4 deficit, and led 87-75 after Paul's three-pointer with 3:26 to play.

The Suns sank four three-pointers after that.

Raja Bell scored a season-high 24, including 5-of-5 on threes, for the Suns. Steve Nash added 14 points and 16 assists. Kurt Thomas and Shawn Marion scored 12 apiece.

Jazz 92, Pistons 78

Salt Lake City - Andrei Kirilenko had 22 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and short-handed Utah ended Detroit's six-game winning streak.

Kirilenko also had four blocks, and Mehmet Okur finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds against his former team.

Already depleted by injuries and illness, Utah lost center Greg Ostertag 2:07 into the game because of a sore knee. The remaining 10 members of the Jazz - actually nine because rookie C.J. Miles didn't play - became just the third team to beat the Pistons this season.

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