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Timberwolves Won't Panic After Latest Loss

January 26, 2002|From Associated Press

A second consecutive loss and three losses in five games could be the signs of an emerging slump. Flip Saunders says his Minnesota Timberwolves are mentally tough enough to snap out of it.

Vince Carter scored 19 points and five other Raptors reached double figures as Toronto defeated Minnesota, 107-100, Friday night at Toronto. The Timberwolves lead the NBA in field-goal percentage but shot only 43% against Toronto.

Chauncey Billups had 17 points for the Timberwolves, who had won 12 of 13 before their recent slide.

"Our guys know how to get through rough times," said Saunders, whose team dealt with the death of Malik Sealy almost two years ago. "They had to play when their teammate was in a coffin, so losing to Detroit by 20 [on Wednesday] is a minor thing."

Kevin Garnett went five for 14 from the field, finishing with only 15 points for the Timberwolves, who never led.

"This team doesn't get too high after a win over the Lakers and doesn't get too low after a big loss," Saunders said. "It's why we haven't had any terrible losing streaks."

Antonio Davis had 18 points, Keon Clark had 16 and 10 rebounds and Jerome Williams had 13 rebounds and 10 points for the Raptors, who were criticized by Davis after their loss Wednesday to New York.

"We're capable of doing this every night," Davis said. "I'm trying to step up and be a vocal leader."

The Raptors, who had lost their previous four games against Minnesota, shot a season-high 63% in the first half and led 61-43.

Williams took pleasure in outrebounding Sam Mitchell, 7-0, on the offensive end.

"It's unfortunate that Sam Mitchell is 38 years old. He's going up against JYD and the dog pound," Williams said. "It's going to be a long night. When I'm 38, I'm bowing out."

Garnett's layup narrowed Toronto's lead to three in the first quarter, but Toronto went on a 29-9 run as Clark scored 12 on a variety of short jumpers and hook shots. Clark's driving hook shot gave Toronto a 23-point lead with 5:14 left in the second.

*

Indiana 90, Charlotte 81--Jalen Rose scored 23 points, including 10 consecutive in the fourth quarter, and the Pacers made six free throws in the final minute to hold off the Hornets at Indianapolis.

Charlotte cut an 18-point first-half deficit to four in the third quarter and trailed by six after a basket by Jamaal Magloire with less than two minutes to go.

The Hornets had a chance to cut into that lead after Indiana failed to get the ball across the time line, but Jermaine O'Neal blocked a shot by Baron Davis.

*

Philadelphia 106, Boston 90--Allen Iverson set a FleetCenter scoring record with 47 points as the visiting 76ers reached .500 for the first time in almost two months.

Dikembe Mutombo had 15 points and 17 rebounds and Derrick Coleman had 11 and 11 in his first game back after missing four with a foot injury. The 76ers (21-21) have defeated Boston eight consecutive times.

Paul Pierce had 30 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics.

*

Detroit 107, Atlanta 90--Chucky Atkins scored 21 points and Corliss Williamson had 20 at Atlanta for the Pistons, who have won five of seven.

The Pistons made 30 of 33 free throws, including a combined 24-of-25 effort by Atkins, Williamson and Jerry Stackhouse. Atkins made six of his three-pointers.

The Hawks, with leading scorer Shareef Abdur-Rahim serving the second game of a three-game suspension, have lost two in a row and eight of nine.

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