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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 15 23 28 26 92 MINNESOTA 24 28 22 23 97 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHO - JASON KIDD 29, CLIFF ROBINSON 13, GEORGE MCCLOUD 13 MIN - SAM MITCHELL 25, KEVIN GARNETT 17, TERRELL BRANDON 16

HIGH REBOUND: PHO - TOM GUGLIOTTA 13, CLIFF ROBINSON 8 MIN - JOE SMITH 13, KEVIN GARNETT 11

HIGH ASSISTS: PHO - JASON KIDD 11, TOM GUGLIOTTA 6 MIN - TERRELL BRANDON 16, SAM MITCHELL 6

ATT: 16,771


Extended Box

PHOENIX (92) AT MINNESOTA (97)

PHOENIX REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

GUGLIOTTA F 40 4-7 1-1 2 11 13 6 2 0 2 9 ROBINSON F 41 4-11 5-6 2 6 8 3 2 1 1 13 LONGLEY C 9 0-4 0-0 0 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 CHAPMAN G 27 3-9 0-0 0 1 1 3 1 0 2 7 KIDD G 45 9-21 9-11 2 5 7 11 4 2 4 29 GARRITY 14 3-5 0-0 0 3 3 1 2 0 0 6 MANNING 31 5-10 1-2 0 5 5 3 2 0 1 11 MCCLOUD 25 4-7 4-4 1 4 5 2 3 2 1 13 MORRIS 4 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 SIMS 4 1-1 0-3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 KLEINE DNP - LACERATED LIP BAILEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-75 22-29 7 38 45 29 17 5 13 92 (.440) (.759) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 14(21 PTS)

MINNESOTA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

K GARNETT F 38 7-25 3-6 4 7 11 2 2 3 0 17 SMITH F 35 4-10 0-0 3 10 13 2 6 0 0 8 MITCHELL C 44 11-22 3-6 0 7 7 6 3 2 1 25 BRANDON G 44 7-16 2-4 1 5 6 16 2 2 2 16 PEELER G 41 5-9 2-2 0 1 1 1 3 2 4 15 HAMMONDS 23 6-8 0-1 1 3 4 1 2 0 1 12 JACKSON 11 2-5 0-0 1 1 2 3 2 0 0 4 PATTERSON 4 0-1 0-0 1 2 3 0 3 0 0 0 CURLEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION D GARRETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION ROBINSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION SCOTT DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 42-96 10-19 11 36 47 31 23 9 8 97 (.438) (.526) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 8(7 PTS)

PHOENIX 15 23 28 26 - 92 MINNESOTA 24 28 22 23 - 97

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - LONGLEY 2, MANNING, CHAPMAN, KIDD. MINNESOTA - MITCHELL. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 4-16 (.250), GUGLIOTTA 0-1, ROBINSON 0-2, CHAPMAN 1-2, KIDD 2-8, MCCLOUD 1-3. MINNESOTA 3-9 (.333), K GARNETT 0-1, MITCHELL 0-2, PEELER 3-6. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: (EDDIE F. RUSH, MIKE CALLAHAN, DEE KANTNER. A - 16,771. T - 2:11.


Box Score

PHOENIX (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gugliotta 40 4-7 1-1 2-13 6 2 9 Robinson 41 4-11 5-6 2-8 3 2 13 Longley 9 0-4 0-0 0-3 0 1 0 Chapman 27 3-9 0-0 0-1 3 1 7 Kidd 45 9-21 9-11 2-7 11 4 29 Garrity 14 3-5 0-0 0-3 1 2 6 Manning 31 5-10 1-2 0-5 3 2 11 Mccloud 25 4-7 4-4 1-5 2 3 13 Morris 4 0-0 2-2 0-0 0 0 2 Sims 4 1-1 0-3 0-0 0 0 2 Kleine DNP - lacerated lip Bailey DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-75 22-29 7-45 29 17 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.440, FT-.759. 3-Point Goals: 4-16, .250 (Gugliotta 0-1, Robinson 0-2, Chapman 1-2, Kidd 2-8, Mccloud 1-3). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 5 (Longley 2, Manning, Chapman, Kidd). Turnovers: 14 (Kidd 4, Chapman 2, Gugliotta 2, Sims 2, Manning, Mccloud, Robinson). Steals: 5 (Kidd 2, Mccloud 2, Robinson).

MINNESOTA (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 38 7-25 3-6 4-11 2 2 17 Smith 35 4-10 0-0 3-13 2 6 8 Mitchell 44 11-22 3-6 0-7 6 3 25 Brandon 44 7-16 2-4 1-6 16 2 16 Peeler 41 5-9 2-2 0-1 1 3 15 Hammonds 23 6-8 0-1 1-4 1 2 12 Jackson 11 2-5 0-0 1-2 3 2 4 Patterson 4 0-1 0-0 1-3 0 3 0 Curley DNP - coach's decision D Garrett DNP - coach's decision Robinson DNP - coach's decision Scott DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 42-96 10-19 11-47 31 23 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.438, FT-.526. 3-Point Goals: 3-9, .333 (K Garnett 0-1, Mitchell 0-2, Peeler 3-6). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 1 (Mitchell). Turnovers: 8 (Peeler 4, Brandon 2, Hammonds, Mitchell). Steals: 9 (K Garnett 3, Brandon 2, Mitchell 2, Peeler 2). ____________________________________________ Phoenix 15 23 28 26 - 92 Minnesota 24 28 22 23 - 97 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,771. T: 2:11. Officials: (eddie F. Rush, Mike Callahan, Dee Kantner.


Game Story

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Sam Mitchell scored a season-high 25 points and Terrell Brandon had 16 with a career-high 16 assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves spoiled Tom Gugliotta's return with a 97-92 win over the Phoenix Suns.

Mitchell and Brandon clinched the victory by hitting foul shots in the final 12 seconds after the Suns sliced a 20-point deficit to 95-92 with 40 seconds remaining.

The Timberwolves snapped a season-high four-game losing streak and moved into a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference playoff race with Sacramento. They also are one-half game ahead of Seattle and climbed back to .500.

"Tonight was crucial," Brandon said. "We felt it was a must-win situation for us. Everyone contributed and played extremely hard, and it was playoff intensity. This is the reason why you play. We just gutted it out until the end. That was encouraging."

"We definitely challenged our guys," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders added. "It was kind of a character-builder. The guys who I expected to compete with character did. Sam Mitchell was huge. He put the team on his back at times and pretty much carried us."

Gugliotta had nine points and 13 rebounds in his first game in Minnesota since signing a six-year, $58 million deal with Phoenix in the offseason.

"I was kind of excited to come back and play," said Gugliotta, who was booed by the Minnesota fans. "I knew it would be weird for the first time, seeing familiar faces and teammates, but it was fun. I really did enjoy it. I wish we could have played better."

Trailing by three points, the Timberwolves had a chance to tie, but Gugliotta forced a 3-pointer from the top of the key that missed everything with 14 seconds remaining.

"I tried to draw a foul," Gugliotta said. "I pump-faked and jumped, but it's a judgement call. That's just one call. That didn't lose the game for us. I just thought maybe I was able to draw some contact."

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the sixth-place Suns, whose lead over Sacramento and Minnesota was sliced to one game. Phoenix lost for only the second time in the last eight games.

"That game was a simple matter of one team wanting it more," Phoenix coach Danny Ainge said. "We made a valiant effort down the stretch. We played without any energy or passion. Minnesota did, and that's why they won."

Jason Kidd had 29 points and 11 assists for the Suns, who fell behind 50-30 late in the second quarter before beginning their comeback.

After the Suns pulled within 85-79 on Gugliotta's dunk with five minutes remaining, Mitchell scored five straight points to give the Timberwolves a 90-79 lead with 3:17 left.

Anthony Peeler drilled a 3-pointer to extend Minnesota's cushion to 93-83 with 2:10 to play before the Suns nearly erased the deficit in the final two minutes.

Cliff Robinson's two free throws pulled Phoenix within 95-89 with 49 seconds remaining. After Kevin Garnett missed a pair from the line two seconds later, Kidd drilled a 3-pointer to bring the Suns within three.

Mitchell missed his second foul shot with 12 seconds remaining to keep it a one-possession game, but the Timberwolves could not corral the rebound and Brandon iced the win three seconds later.

"This win is very big," Garnett said. "We definitely had to come out and make some kind of statement. We felt like some of the games we lost recently were very winnable games, and we had to have a different focus. Sometimes, you can lose focus, but right now we'll take a win any way we can."

Garnett added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who shot 44 percent (42-of-96) from the field and committed just eight turnovers. Peeler added 15 points and Tom Hammonds contributed 12.

"The last couple games when we did get big leads, we had a tendency to not do the things we did to get that lead," Brandon said. "So, tonight I think we were more professional about it and the guys just kept reminding each other, 'Let's go ahead and put this thing away.' "

George McCloud and Robinson each had 13 for the Suns, who also shot 44 percent (33-of-75).

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