MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Phoenix Suns were reluctant to use their built-in excuse for their lack of offense.
The Suns were held to the second-fewest points in the organization's 33-year history Tuesday night while losing their third game in a row, 82-73 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Phoenix was without All-Star point guard Jason Kidd.
He was accused of hitting his wife at their suburban Phoenix home last week and is skipping the Suns' six-game road trip while attempting to mend their relationship. The Suns also were without Tom Gugliotta and Anfernee Hardaway.
Their absence helped explain why the Suns were held to 38.8-percent shooting and forced into 19 turnovers. But coach Scott Skiles wasn't accepting any alibis.
"Even if Jason played, that's no guarantee we're not going to turn it over," Skiles said. "He's had his games where he's turned it over plenty. It wasn't Jason's replacement who turned it over."
Elliott Perry had one turnover in his third start for Kidd. He scored 10 points in the first half but was held scoreless in the second.
"The other guys threw it all over, too," Skiles said. "We had trouble passing and catching and handling the ball."
The Timberwolves, led by Terrell Brandon's 26 points, would like to take some credit for that. They have held opponents to an average of 85.3 points during their four-game win streak.
"We don't let guys parade to the basket anymore," coach Flip Saunders said. "We contest and go for the contact."
Kevin Garnett, who has a history of tough nights against the Suns' Cliff Robinson, made only 6-of-17 shots while scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. He is averaging 13.7 points on 33.0-percent shooting in his last six games against Robinson and the Suns.
But Garnett made life equally tough for Robinson, who made only 3-of-14 shots and finished with 6 points.
"My philosophy growing up was if you don't score and your man doesn't score, then it's even," Garnett said.
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