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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- MINNESOTA 16 27 27 22 92 HOUSTON 18 18 22 26 84 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 27, TERRELL BRANDON 26, MALIK SEALY 9 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 24, CUTTINO MOBLEY 18, KENNY THOMAS 17

HIGH REBOUND: MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 12, RADOSLAV NESTEROVIC 9 HOU - KENNY THOMAS 8, SHANDON ANDERSON 6

HIGH ASSISTS: MIN - TERRELL BRANDON 8, KEVIN GARNETT 6 HOU - SHANDON ANDERSON 6, STEVE FRANCIS 4

ATT: 15,094


Extended Box

MINNESOTA (92) AT HOUSTON (84)

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

K GARNETT F 38 13-22 0-0 2 10 12 6 4 5 4 27 MITCHELL F 24 2-7 0-0 0 1 1 4 2 0 0 4 NESTEROVIC C 39 4-7 0-0 3 6 9 2 5 0 3 8 BRANDON G 35 11-19 4-4 0 2 2 8 3 1 1 26 SEALY G 27 4-7 0-0 1 1 2 2 3 0 1 9 PEELER 32 3-8 0-0 1 5 6 3 2 1 0 6 SMITH 17 1-4 1-3 0 2 2 1 2 0 1 3 JACKSON 13 1-5 0-0 2 6 8 3 2 0 2 2 SZCZERBIAK 15 3-6 1-1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 7 AVERY DNP - COACH'S DECISION D GARRETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION HAMMONDS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 42-85 6-8 9 33 42 29 24 7 13 92 (.494) (.750) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 13(13 PTS)

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

BULLARD F 13 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 WILLIAMS F 33 6-16 2-2 0 4 4 1 1 1 0 16 MILLER C 13 0-1 0-0 0 4 4 0 1 0 1 0 ANDERSON G 29 0-5 1-2 1 5 6 6 2 1 0 1 FRANCIS G 39 7-17 9-13 5 0 5 4 4 0 7 24 THOMAS 39 7-11 3-5 3 5 8 1 4 0 3 17 OLAJUWON 21 3-8 2-4 0 5 5 2 0 0 2 8 MOBLEY 27 6-10 2-2 0 3 3 1 2 0 2 18 DREW 16 0-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 CURLEY 10 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 CATO DNP - COACH'S DECISION GRAY DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 29-73 19-28 9 28 37 16 17 3 16 84 (.397) (.679) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 16(20 PTS)

MINNESOTA 16 27 27 22 - 92 HOUSTON 18 18 22 26 - 84

BLOCKED SHOTS: MINNESOTA - K GARNETT, NESTEROVIC, SMITH. HOUSTON - OLAJUWON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MINNESOTA 2-7 (.286), K GARNETT 1-1, BRANDON 0-1, SEALY 1-1, PEELER 0-4. HOUSTON 7-20 (.350), BULLARD 0-1, WILLIAMS 2-5, ANDERSON 0-2, FRANCIS 1-4, THOMAS 0-1, MOBLEY 4-6, DREW 0-1. TECHNICALS: MINNESOTA - K GARNETT, HOUSTON - THOMAS. OFFICIALS: JOE FORTE, TOMMIE WOOD, HANK ARMSTRONG. A - 15,094. T - 2:14.


Box Score

MINNESOTA (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 38 13-22 0-0 2-12 6 4 27 Mitchell 24 2-7 0-0 0-1 4 2 4 Nesterovic 39 4-7 0-0 3-9 2 5 8 Brandon 35 11-19 4-4 0-2 8 3 26 Sealy 27 4-7 0-0 1-2 2 3 9 Peeler 32 3-8 0-0 1-6 3 2 6 Smith 17 1-4 1-3 0-2 1 2 3 Jackson 13 1-5 0-0 2-8 3 2 2 Szczerbiak 15 3-6 1-1 0-0 0 1 7 Avery DNP - coach's decision D Garrett DNP - coach's decision Hammonds DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 42-85 6-8 9-42 29 24 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.494, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 2-7, .286 (K Garnett 1-1, Brandon 0-1, Sealy 1-1, Peeler 0-4). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 3 (K Garnett, Nesterovic, Smith). Turnovers: 13 (K Garnett 4, Nesterovic 3, Jackson 2, Brandon, Sealy, Smith, Szczerbiak). Steals: 7 (K Garnett 5, Brandon, Peeler).

HOUSTON (84) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Bullard 13 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Williams 33 6-16 2-2 0-4 1 1 16 Miller 13 0-1 0-0 0-4 0 1 0 Anderson 29 0-5 1-2 1-6 6 2 1 Francis 39 7-17 9-13 5-5 4 4 24 Thomas 39 7-11 3-5 3-8 1 4 17 Olajuwon 21 3-8 2-4 0-5 2 0 8 Mobley 27 6-10 2-2 0-3 1 2 18 Drew 16 0-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 Curley 10 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Cato DNP - coach's decision Gray DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-73 19-28 9-37 16 17 84 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.397, FT-.679. 3-Point Goals: 7-20, .350 (Bullard 0-1, Williams 2-5, Anderson 0-2, Francis 1-4, Thomas 0-1, Mobley 4-6, Drew 0-1). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 1 (Olajuwon). Turnovers: 16 (Francis 7, Thomas 3, Mobley 2, Olajuwon 2, Drew, Miller). Steals: 3 (Anderson, Curley, Williams). ____________________________________________ Minnesota 16 27 27 22 - 92 Houston 18 18 22 26 - 84 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Minnesota 1 (K Garnett, 3:50 4th). Houston 1 (Thomas, 3:50 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,094. T: 2:14. Officials: Joe Forte, Tommie Wood, Hank Armstrong.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- A matchup of two of the league's hottest teams came down to a sizzling third quarter and a scorching superstar.

Kevin Garnett continued his red-hot play with 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and Terrell Brandon added 26 points and eight assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves posted a 92-84 triumph over the Houston Rockets.

Garnett made 13-of-22 shots, including a crucial 23-footer with 35 seconds to go. He is averaging more than 26 points per game over his last eight games and has led the Timberwolves to 16 wins in their last 19 contests.

"Kevin played at a high level tonight and Terrell is automatic at 18 feet," Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. "They came back and didn't give up, but we settled down and didn't make any turnovers down the stretch."

"We're playing team basketball," Garnett said. "Everyone understands their role and we're on a roll because of that."

Houston, which had its season-high six-game winning streak snapped, got within 85-80 with 90 seconds left but rookie Kenny Thomas was whistled for an illegal pick nine seconds later and the Rockets never recovered.

Rookie Steve Francis led Houston with 24 points, including 13 in the final quarter.

"When you don't shoot the ball well, it's hard to beat a good team," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We missed inside and outside shots. Our intensity wasn't where it needed to be to beat a team playing that well."

The Timberwolves opened the second half with a 10-3 run, turning a 43-36 lead into a 14-point bulge with 8:55 to go in the third quarter. They pushed the lead to 17 late in the quarter and still led 80-68 with 5:29 left in the fourth quarter.

Thomas hit a 22-footer with 4 1/2 minutes remaining to slice the deficit to 10 and Francis hit a technical free throw 40 seconds later. The rookie point guard added two more free throws and an 18-footer to draw Houston within 80-75 but Malik Sealy drained a 3-pointer from the left corner with 2:35 left.

Cuttino Mobley countered with a 3-pointer but Garnett sank a 21-footer with 1:58 remaining. Two free throws by Francis sliced the deficit to 85-80 but Thomas committed an offensive foul and Joe Smith had a three-point play with 65 seconds to go.

After Francis hit two free throws seven seconds later, Garnett provided the dagger by beating the shot clock with a 23-footer from just inside the top of the circle.

"We knew they were trying to focus on Kevin," Brandon said. "We just ran our sets and not complicate things. They made their run at us, but we stayed poised. Then, Kevin got hot and we got it done."

"We couldn't get to Garnett," Francis said. "He's definitely as good as advertised. He hit some big-time jump shots over some tough defenders. ... We just couldn't get over the hump. Down the stretch, they hit some big shots and we didn't."

Walt Williams had nine points in the opening quarter as Houston led 18-16 after 12 minutes. Both teams shoot poorly as the Rockets made 6-of-22 while the Timberwolves were just 7-of-23.

Minnesota opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run as rookie Wally Szczerbiak scored seven points. The Timberwolves pushed the lead to 43-33 on a dunk by Garnett with 36 seconds to go in the half but Mobley drained a 3-pointer 18 seconds later.

Houston trailed 43-36 at the break despite making just 12-of-40 shots and being outrebounded 29-22.

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