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Updated: January 3rd, 2011 9:34pm
Timberwolves blow 4th quarter lead to Garnett-less Celtics 96-93

Timberwolves blow 4th quarter lead to Garnett-less Celtics 96-93

The Minnesota Timberwolves once again blew a 4th quarter lead Monday night in a 96-93 loss to the Boston Celtics.

One of the challenges of a sports writer is to find a compelling way to craft a story each night about a team that plays 82-games a year.

Anyone who covers the Wolves has officially run out of ways to tell this tale.

The Wolves came out hot, holding the Celtics -- who were without Kevin Garnett -- to just 17 first quarter points and led by as many as eight in the fourth quarter until a Rajon Rando 14-foot jumper put the Celtics up for good 94-91

The Wolves youth and inexperience were once again exposed by a veteran team that finished the game with a 19-8 run.

There are about 10 games this season where the numbers and names could be interchanged but the overall story would be the same.

That is not to say the Wolves did not fight down the stretch.  Michael Beasley -- who once again got into early foul trouble -- hit four consecutive shots with less than four minutes to go but it was not enough to overcome the more poised, veteran Celtics. 

Beasley finished with 19 points and three rebounds. 

This was the Wolves seventh consecutive loss to the Celtics and have yet to beat them since trading Kevin Garnett in 2007. 

It was another blown opportunity for the Wolves to capitalize on catching a playoff team when they were without some of their biggest stars.

Last Wednesday, the Wolves lost to the Denver Nuggets -- who were without Carmello Anthony and Nene -- 119-113.

The Celtics' Rajon Rondo was recovering from a sprained ankle and Garnett was sidelined with a strained right calf.

Kevin Love took advantage of the absence of Garnett down low by putting up another freakish PlayStation-like rebounding total, finishing with 24 boards.

It was the sixth time this season that Love has gone past the 20 rebound mark, and his 12 points were enough to keep his streak of 21-consecutive games played with a double-double.

Love is now creeping into flirting distance of matching Garnett's franchise record of 37 consecutive double-doubles.

Luke Ridnour continues to get the brunt of the minutes at point guard even after Jonny Flynn has returned from hip surgery. 

Ridnour had 13 points and five assists in 35 minutes but traveled in a crucial situation with :09 seconds left, attempting  layup that would have given the Wolves the lead. 

Flynn continues to be non-factor for the Wolves and has recently revealed he won't be surprised if he is traded.  

In 13 minutes, Flynn had zero points on 0-for-5 shooting and a turnover. 

While Flynn has disappointed, Martell Webster continues to be a bright spot off the bench for the Wolves.  Webster worked hard for his 15 points, hitting difficult-shot after difficult-shot, in 23 minutes.

The Wolves now come back home for a pair of winnable games against the Charlotte Bobcats and Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday and Friday.

From there, the Wolves play a home-and-home with the San Antonio Spurs, starting at the AT&T Center Sunday before they run it back next Tuesday at Target Center.