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Wolves win eighth straight

One-dimensional Lakers lose 2 of 3 without Shaq

SHARE Wolves win eighth straight

Wolves 96, Lakers 83

With Shaquille O'Neal sidelined and their double-barreled attack cut in half, the Los Angeles Lakers have become predictable and beatable.

Capitalizing on the absence of O'Neal, the Minnesota Timberwolves focused their defense on Kobe Bryant and added the defending NBA champions to their recent string of successes.

Kevin Garnett scored 21 points Wednesday night as the Timberwolves beat Los Angeles 96-83 for their franchise-record eighth straight victory.

Minnesota ended an eight-game losing skid — dating to Feb. 11, 1999 — against the Lakers and swept its first five-game homestand in franchise history.

Los Angeles lost for the second time in three games without O'Neal, who is sidelined with a foot injury.

"They did become predictable," said Wolves coach Flip Saunders, whose career record against the Lakers improved to 3-17. "They're so used to having Shaq around, it's a big difference when he isn't."

The Wolves limited Bryant to 24 points on 6-for-17 shooting Wednesday night, one night after he scored 47 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

SUNS 101, GRIZZLIES 92: Jason Kidd had 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as Phoenix handed Vancouver its 13th consecutive road loss.

BUCKS 116, NUGGETS 111: Ray Allen scored 32 points, Glenn Robinson 25 and Sam Cassell 23 as Milwaukee coach George Karl earned his 600th career win.

SPURS 92, CLIPPERS 70: Tim Duncan had 22 points and 16 rebounds to lead San Antonio to its fifth straight victory.

CELTICS 102, PACERS 96 (OT): Antoine Walker scored 22 points and Vitaly Potapenko added 15 as visiting Boston won its fourth straight game.

MAGIC 100, WIZARDS 96: Pat Garrity's3-pointer in the final minute completed a comeback from an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit as visiting Orlando ended Washington's five-game winning streak.

PISTONS 112, NETS 103: Jerry Stackhouse had 30 points and 10 assists to offset his 10 turnovers as Detroit handed New Jersey its sixth straight loss.

HAWKS 102, RAPTORS 97: Dikembe Mutombo had a season-high 29 rebounds, scored 21 points and blocked six shots as host Atlanta won for the third time in eight games.