MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Tom Gugliotta showed Sunday why he's the first All-Star in Minnesota Timberwolves history.

Gugliotta scored 11 of his team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and Kevin Garnett recovered from a 1-for-9 start to key a third-quarter rally as the Wolves held on for a 103-102 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

``We're not playing great _ we know we can play better,'' said Gugliotta, chosen as a Western Conference reserve for this year's All-Star game. ``It's very important to us to try to get to .500 before the All-Star break.''

Thirty-year-old rookie Dean Garrett had 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Wolves, who won their third straight to improve to 22-24, their best record ever at this point in a season.

``Dean Garrett has been phenomenal,'' Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. ``He's been a big part of our success lately.

Kenny Anderson scored 26 points and Gary Trent had 24 for the Blazers, who lost their season-high fourth straight game. Portland shot just 40 percent and Clifford Robinson and Isaiah Rider were a combined 9-for-33.

The Blazers have Rasheed Wallance and Arvydas Sabonis on the injured list and are playing with two players on 10-day contracts. One other player, Stacey Augmon, is still learning coach P.J. Carlesimo's system after his trade to Portland Jan. 24.

``We're a team in transition right now,'' Robinson said. ``I had some great looks today, but nothing worked. I just could not put it in. We needed some of those baskets.''

A pair of free throws by Trent gave the Blazers a 62-60 lead _ their first since the opening minute of the game _ with 5:23 left in the third quarter. Garnett scored Minnesota's next seven points and the Wolves closed the quarter with a 12-5 run to take a 72-67 lead into the fourth.

Consecutive baskets by Garnett and Doug West gave the Wolves an 87-77 lead midway through the fourth. Portland pulled to 91-87 on a basket by Anderson with 1:35 left, but the Wolves made eight of 10 free throws down the stretch to clinch the victory.

Rider hit a 3-pointer at buzzer to account for the final score.

Garnett finished with 13 points, making four of his final five shots.

``Kevin wasn't hitting his shots early, but he got us going in the third quarter,'' Saunders said.

Notes: Rookie guard Stephon Marbury missed his sixth straight game with a bruised right thigh. ... The Timberwolves finished January with a 9-6 mark, setting franchise records for wins in a month and winning percentage in a month (.600). It was just the second winning month in franchise history. ... Minnesota recorded its 22nd victory Sunday, a number equal to or better than their total in five of their seven NBA seasons. ... The Blazers were 14-0 in Minnesota entering this season, but lost twice at Target Center. ... The drawstring in Kevin Garnett's shorts came loose early in the game, and after watching Garnett struggle to keep his pants up, Saunders was forced to call a 20-second timeout just 2:45 into the game.