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Timberwolves stop Cavaliers

Minnesota's backups were too much for Cleveland's All-Stars.

Wally Szczerbiak scored 26 points off the bench, and Kevin Garnett added 20 points, 18 rebounds, and 6 assists to lead the Timberwolves to a 94-88 victory over the Cavaliers last night in Minneapolis.

Led by Szczerbiak, the Timberwolves' bench players outscored Cleveland's backups, 55-6, which was enough to hold off Cleveland's All-Star tandem of LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas and give new coach Kevin McHale his second straight win.

James had 26 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds, but was helped to the locker room early in the fourth quarter while battling exhaustion from being ill. After getting fluids in the locker room, James returned to the court with just over four minutes to play and had to drop to his knees in the huddle during a timeout.

Mavericks 119, Suns 113 -- Michael Finley matched his season high with 33 points and Josh Howard had a career-high 30, helping undermanned Dallas rally from a 10-point halftime deficit for a victory in Phoenix. The loss dropped the Suns to 41-13 and denied them an opportunity to finish with the best record in the NBA before the All-Star break. Instead, that honor goes to the idle San Antonio Spurs (41-12).

Dallas (35-16) completed a perfect four-game trip. The Mavericks beat three of the league's elite -- Phoenix, Sacramento and Seattle, in addition to Golden State -- on the swing through the West.

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