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Timberwolves Win in Kevin Garnett's Return
By Mike Jasko

There hasn't been all that much to cheer about for Timberwolves fans this season. Once again they watched at their team traded away another franchise forward in Kevin Love, who failed to get them into the playoffs in his six seasons in Minnesota. They did receive some consolation by obtaining the last two #1 overall picks in Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, along with veteran Thaddeus Young.

But the 2014-15 season started disastrously for the Timberwolves. Starting point guard Ricky Rubio went down after just five games with an ankle injury and would miss 42 games, returning on February 2nd. Rebounding machine Nikola Pekovic also missed two months with injury, and the Timberwolves got off to a miserable 5-31 start, effectively guaranteeing their place in the lottery once again.

February has probably been the best month for T-Wolves fans thus far, with Rubio returning to the line-up, and rookie Andrew Wiggins beginning to hit his stride. The deadline day deal that brought Kevin Garnett back to Minnesota, where he spent his first 12 seasons, puts a positive spin on the Timberwolves' season. Garnett waived his no-trade clause, embracing a mentorship role on a young team. One thing's for sure, it gave Timberwolves fans something to cheer about.

And that's exactly what they did Wednesday night, in Garnett's first game back with the team he started with. After a nice video tribute, the crowd gave Garnett quite the ovation, but then there was a game to play. Clearly effecteKevin Garnettd by the emotional return of Garnett, the Timberwolves struggled to start the game, missing their first 12 shots, and digging themselves an 18-3 hole early.

The Timberwolves would battle back however. With the leadership of Garnett apparently already rubbing off on the young squad, they would battle back to tie the game by halftime. Garnett made his first field goal with 3:32 remaining in the first half, much to the delight of the crowd at the Target Center. While not the offensive force he once was, Garnett displayed stout defense, coming up with two first half blocks.

Minnesota would grab control of the game in the third quarter, led by the offense of Kevin Martin and Andrew Wiggins. The rookie out of Canada scored just 3 points in the first half, but got to the basket often in the third, scoring 13 in quarter; the last of which was a dunk with 46 seconds left that gave the T-Wolves a 16-point advantage.

Wiggins finished with 19 points, while Kevin Martin led the way for the Wolves with 28, and Pekovic added 15 points and 13 boards. Garnett scored only 5 points but grabbed 8 rebounds to go with his two blocked shots. Its quite clear the KG's vocal leadership is already having an effect on this team, it will be interesting to see how Minnesota's youngsters grow under his tutelage.  

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