DENVER, April 28 (UPI) -- Kevin Garnett had 27 points and 14 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves hung on for an 84-82 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
The win gave the Timberwolves a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference first-round series.
After a sub-par performance in Game Three that had the Nuggets belittling the Timberwolves, Garnett arrived at the Pepsi Center three hours before game time to work on his shooting. The favorite for the NBA MVP award wanted to set a tone for his top-seeded team, which never has won a playoff series.
The eighth-seeded Nuggets also tried to set an early -- and rough -- tone. In the first three minutes, Nene shoved Garnett into the seats on a fast break and Marcus Camby kicked him while grappling for a loose ball.
Garnett withstood the physical play to make 8-of-17 shots, including a reverse lay-up that teetered on top of the backboard before dropping through, giving Minnesota a 78-74 lead with 4:26 to play.
After the horn, Latrell Sprewell started jawing face-to-face with Nuggets guard Jon Barry before leaving the court. The Timberwolves were showered with beer and debris thrown from the stands.