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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- MINNESOTA 25 28 25 22 100 HOUSTON 17 28 20 21 86 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: MIN - TERRELL BRANDON 24, WALLY SZCZERBIAK 19, KEVIN GARNETT 17 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 19, CARLOS ROGERS 12, CUTTINO MOBLEY 11

HIGH REBOUND: MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 15, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5 HOU - CARLOS ROGERS 7, KENNY THOMAS 7

HIGH ASSISTS: MIN - TERRELL BRANDON 9, KEVIN GARNETT 7 HOU - MOOCHIE NORRIS 5, STEVE FRANCIS 4

ATT: 16,285


Extended Box

MINNESOTA (100) AT HOUSTON (86)

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

K GARNETT F 35 7-16 3-3 2 13 15 7 1 0 1 17 SZCZERBIAK F 37 7-13 5-5 2 2 4 2 4 0 2 19 D GARRETT C 12 1-2 0-0 1 3 4 0 3 0 0 2 BRANDON G 39 10-19 2-2 0 3 3 9 2 2 1 24 SEALY G 29 4-6 2-2 1 4 5 2 2 0 0 10 NESTEROVIC 21 3-9 1-2 4 1 5 2 3 0 0 7 PEELER 28 5-9 0-0 0 1 1 4 3 0 1 11 SMITH 21 2-7 0-0 2 2 4 2 5 1 0 4 JACKSON 11 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 3 0 1 0 2 HAMMONDS 7 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 4 AVERY DNP - COACH'S DECISION MITCHELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 42-87 13-14 12 32 44 32 25 4 5 100 (.483) (.929) TEAM REBS: 3 TOTAL TO: 5(4 PTS)

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

GRAY F 14 2-4 0-0 1 1 2 0 2 0 0 4 THOMAS F 27 3-9 3-6 4 3 7 2 2 0 0 9 OLAJUWON C 24 4-9 1-5 2 4 6 2 1 0 2 9 ANDERSON G 30 1-5 3-3 0 4 4 2 2 0 1 5 FRANCIS G 34 5-13 7-8 1 5 6 4 5 0 5 19 CATO 14 2-6 1-4 1 4 5 0 0 1 2 5 DREW 19 2-7 1-1 1 1 2 1 0 0 1 6 ROGERS 27 4-12 4-5 2 5 7 2 1 0 1 12 NORRIS 27 2-6 0-0 2 4 6 5 1 0 1 6 MOBLEY 20 4-7 3-3 1 1 2 2 0 1 1 11 MILLER 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 WILLIAMS DNP - BACK SPASMS

TOTALS 240 29-78 23-35 15 32 47 21 14 2 14 86 (.372) (.657) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 16(18 PTS)

MINNESOTA 25 28 25 22 - 100 HOUSTON 17 28 20 21 - 86

BLOCKED SHOTS: MINNESOTA - NESTEROVIC 3, SMITH 2. HOUSTON - GRAY 2, THOMAS, MILLER, OLAJUWON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MINNESOTA 3-6 (.500), BRANDON 2-2, PEELER 1-4. HOUSTON 5-19 (.263), THOMAS 0-2, ANDERSON 0-1, FRANCIS 2-6, DREW 1-3, ROGERS 0-2, NORRIS 2-3, MOBLEY 0-2. TECHNICALS: MINNESOTA - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2, HOUSTON - ROGERS. OFFICIALS: BENNETT SALVATORE, JIM CLARK, SCOTT WALL. A - 16,285. T - 2:08.


Box Score

MINNESOTA (100) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 35 7-16 3-3 2-15 7 1 17 Szczerbiak 37 7-13 5-5 2-4 2 4 19 D Garrett 12 1-2 0-0 1-4 0 3 2 Brandon 39 10-19 2-2 0-3 9 2 24 Sealy 29 4-6 2-2 1-5 2 2 10 Nesterovic 21 3-9 1-2 4-5 2 3 7 Peeler 28 5-9 0-0 0-1 4 3 11 Smith 21 2-7 0-0 2-4 2 5 4 Jackson 11 1-3 0-0 0-2 3 0 2 Hammonds 7 2-3 0-0 0-1 1 2 4 Avery DNP - coach's decision Mitchell DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 42-87 13-14 12-44 32 25 100 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.483, FT-.929. 3-Point Goals: 3-6, .500 (Brandon 2-2, Peeler 1-4). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 5 (Nesterovic 3, Smith 2). Turnovers: 5 (Szczerbiak 2, Brandon, K Garnett, Peeler). Steals: 4 (Brandon 2, Jackson, Smith).

HOUSTON (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gray 14 2-4 0-0 1-2 0 2 4 Thomas 27 3-9 3-6 4-7 2 2 9 Olajuwon 24 4-9 1-5 2-6 2 1 9 Anderson 30 1-5 3-3 0-4 2 2 5 Francis 34 5-13 7-8 1-6 4 5 19 Cato 14 2-6 1-4 1-5 0 0 5 Drew 19 2-7 1-1 1-2 1 0 6 Rogers 27 4-12 4-5 2-7 2 1 12 Norris 27 2-6 0-0 2-6 5 1 6 Mobley 20 4-7 3-3 1-2 2 0 11 Miller 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 Williams DNP - back spasms _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-78 23-35 15-47 21 14 86 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.372, FT-.657. 3-Point Goals: 5-19, .263 (Thomas 0-2, Anderson 0-1, Francis 2-6, Drew 1-3, Rogers 0-2, Norris 2-3, Mobley 0-2). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 5 (Gray 2, Thomas, Miller, Olajuwon). Turnovers: 16 (Francis 5, Cato 2, Olajuwon 2, Anderson, Drew, Mobley, Norris, Rogers). Steals: 2 (Cato, Mobley). ____________________________________________ Minnesota 25 28 25 22 - 100 Houston 17 28 20 21 - 86 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Minnesota 2 (Illegal Defense 2, 1:17 2nd, 9:32 4th). Houston 1 (Rogers, 7:23 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,285. T: 2:08. Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Jim Clark, Scott Wall.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Terrell Brandon took rookie Steve Francis to school as the red-hot Minnesota Timberwolves matched a franchise record by committing just five turnovers in a 100-86 drubbing of the Houston Rockets.

Brandon, a nine-year veteran, played the point to perfection, scoring 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting, handing out nine assists and committing just one turnover in 39 minutes. He also held fellow playmaker Francis to a 5-of-13 shooting performance and forced five turnovers out of the first-year sensation.

"It's not like I tried to score tonight," Brandon said. "(Francis) is a good guy with a lot of respect for veterans and I like that in him. He's a good rookie, but tonight I tried to use my experience and I think I (wore) him down.

"I don't think in my career I've ever seen 32 assists with only five turnovers. It's phenomenal to take care of the ball like that, especially when we're pushing the ball like we did tonight."

Kevin Garnett had 17 points and 15 rebounds and rookie Wally Szczerbiak added 19 points for Minnesota, which has won nine of 11 and five straight on the road. The Timberwolves moved a franchise-high 12 games over .500 at 37-25.

"We've been road warriors lately," coach Flip Saunders said after his team improved to 17-13 away from home. "It's been that way the last two months. I think the biggest key is we're not turning the ball over and when you don't turn the ball over, you don't beat yourself. We had five turnovers and 32 assists tonight."

"We're playing very, very well right now," Garnett said. "I think we've played this well before, but we're more focused on the future, not on the past. We've been taking care of the ball and sharing the ball. We're also making the runs when we need to."

Francis finished with 19 points but received very little help from the rest of Houston's starters, who managed a total of 23 points. The Rockets lost for the eighth time in 11 games and fell to 0-3 against the Timberwolves this season.

"We got outworked today," Francis said. "We missed 18 layups and we missed free throws and you can't beat a team like Minnesota when you do that.

"(Brandon) is a good player, he's like a lot of great point guards in this league. I'm getting to see them all this year. Tonight, he played very well."

Carlos Rogers scored 12 points and Cuttino Mobley added 11 off the bench for Houston, which shot 37 percent (29-of-78) and yielded 18 points off turnovers.

"We were stale and lackluster tonight," coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We were aggressive at times, but we didn't get any payoffs. We have some guys banged up, some guys are tired, some guys are ill and we just aren't at our full strength."

Anthony Peeler collected 11 points and Malik Sealy had 10 for Minnesota, which shot 48 percent (42-of-87).

Brandon fed Sealy for a 17-footer and was good from 23 feet to put the Wolves ahead to stay, 8-7, with 6:21 left in the first quarter. He closed the quarter by hitting a 3-pointer from the left sideline and a 20-footer from the right side to extend the advantage to 25-17 entering the second period.

"Terrell is a prototype point guard," Saunders said. "He's running our offense extremely well. We put the ball in the point guard's hands a lot and let them make the decision. When you only have five turnovers, that means they're making good decisions."

The 5-11, 173-pounder out of Oregon took control in the third quarter. He made a 23-footer and a 19-footer on consecutive trips to open a 61-48 lead with 9:55 remaining in the period.

Brandon connected from 26 feet, sank a 21-footer from the right side and ended his barrage with a another long jumper along the left sideline that made it 78-65 entering the fourth.

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