After a smattering of applause during his pregame introduction Friday night, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett slightly elevated off the floor to make the game's first basket against the Timberwolves. For the 19-year veteran and former league MVP, it was an easy, open jump shot. And it was the Nets' only lead in a 111-81 thumping by the Wolves. Garnett took a seat on the bench midway through the first quarter. Seconds later, he stood again for a curtain call prompted by a standing ovation from Target Center's announced crowd of 15,551. Sensing it could be his last game in his former arena, the scoreboard above midcourt played a 46-second video tribute to Garnett, the face of Wolves during his 12 years in Minnesota. The montage included him shaking hands with David Stern as a high schooler at the 1995 NBA draft, him dunking on the likes of Luc Longley, him carrying Stephon Marbury off the court and him hoping on the scorer's table after a playoff win in 2004. What the scoreboard didn't show later was a replay of Kevin Love -- the Wolves' current power forward and face of the franchise -- knocking Garnett's hand off his chest. Then Garnett thrusting his forearm in Love's chest, knocking him back and drawing a technical foul and a flagrant foul at 9:23 in the third quarter. "That is vintage KG," said Love, who led the Wolves (8-6) with 17 points and 16 rebounds. "Trying to get himself going and get him into the right mind frame. I just didn't really care." After Garnett drew the technical foul, the Wolves went on a 16-0 run to take a 16-point lead to a 32-point cushion. "Two guys battling, fighting, frustration ... whatever you want to call it," Garnett said. "He goes hard, I go hard. I'm on it, end of that." Without Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko, more of the load needed to be shouldered by Garnett and Paul Pierce. They combined for 14 points as the Nets dropped to 3-9.
Timberwolves finally beat their former franchise player, Kevin Garnett
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Nov 23