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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- MINNESOTA 29 30 18 31 108 WASHINGTON 27 32 22 34 115 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 31, LAPHONSO ELLIS 21, TERRELL BRANDON 16 WAS - FELIPE LOPEZ 26, JUWAN HOWARD 22, RICHARD HAMILTON 16

HIGH REBOUND: MIN - LAPHONSO ELLIS 10, ANTHONY PEELER 8 WAS - CALVIN BOOTH 10, JUWAN HOWARD 9

HIGH ASSISTS: MIN - WALLY SZCZERBIAK 10, TERRELL BRANDON 7 WAS - CHRIS WHITNEY 13, JUWAN HOWARD 5

ATT: 11,712


Extended Box

MINNESOTA (108) AT WASHINGTON (115)

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

K GARNETT F 38 11-24 7-8 2 2 4 2 2 1 0 31 MITCHELL F 20 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 4 2 0 1 0 NESTEROVIC C 12 3-4 0-0 2 2 4 0 3 0 0 6 BRANDON G 38 7-14 1-1 2 1 3 7 6 2 2 16 SZCZERBIAK G 39 5-13 0-0 2 5 7 10 4 1 1 10 D GARRETT 23 1-2 4-4 0 6 6 3 4 0 2 6 BILLUPS 17 3-5 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 7 PEELER 27 4-11 2-2 5 3 8 1 2 0 1 11 ELLIS 26 10-16 0-1 6 4 10 2 4 1 2 21 AVERY DNP - COACH'S DECISION JACOBSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION SLATER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 44-91 14-16 19 24 43 29 29 5 11 108 (.484) (.875) TEAM REBS: 2 TOTAL TO: 11(19 PTS)

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

HOWARD F 34 10-17 2-2 2 7 9 5 5 0 1 22 NESBY F 32 5-9 4-4 0 1 1 2 1 1 1 15 BOOTH C 33 2-5 4-4 1 9 10 1 2 0 0 8 LOPEZ G 37 10-13 4-6 1 5 6 3 2 2 1 26 C WHITNEY G 46 3-6 7-7 0 2 2 13 1 1 3 14 EKEZIE 15 1-2 3-4 1 2 3 1 4 0 0 5 HAMILTON 29 5-11 5-6 1 2 3 1 1 1 3 16 MICHAEL SMITH 14 2-3 5-7 0 1 1 0 2 2 1 9 P JONES DNP - COACH'S DECISION KING DNP - COACH'S DECISION STRICKLAND DNP - SORE HAMSTRINGS J WHITE DNP - LEFT KNEE SPRAIN

TOTALS 240 38-66 34-40 6 29 35 26 18 7 10 115 (.576) (.850) TEAM REBS: 3 TOTAL TO: 11(15 PTS)

MINNESOTA 29 30 18 31 - 108 WASHINGTON 27 32 22 34 - 115

BLOCKED SHOTS: MINNESOTA - D GARRETT 3, K GARNETT, NESTEROVIC. WASHINGTON - BOOTH 5, HOWARD. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MINNESOTA 6-12 (.500), K GARNETT 2-3, BRANDON 1-2, SZCZERBIAK 0-1, BILLUPS 1-2, PEELER 1-2, ELLIS 1-2. WASHINGTON 5-11 (.455), NESBY 1-3, LOPEZ 2-2, C WHITNEY 1-3, HAMILTON 1-3. TECHNICALS: MINNESOTA - ILLEGAL DEFENSE, WASHINGTON - MICHAEL SMITH. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, NOLAN FINE, GEORGE TOLIVER. A - 11,712. T - 2:13.


Box Score

MINNESOTA (108) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 38 11-24 7-8 2-4 2 2 31 Mitchell 20 0-2 0-0 0-1 4 2 0 Nesterovic 12 3-4 0-0 2-4 0 3 6 Brandon 38 7-14 1-1 2-3 7 6 16 Szczerbiak 39 5-13 0-0 2-7 10 4 10 D Garrett 23 1-2 4-4 0-6 3 4 6 Billups 17 3-5 0-0 0-0 0 2 7 Peeler 27 4-11 2-2 5-8 1 2 11 Ellis 26 10-16 0-1 6-10 2 4 21 Avery DNP - coach's decision Jacobson DNP - coach's decision Slater DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 44-91 14-16 19-43 29 29 108 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.484, FT-.875. 3-Point Goals: 6-12, .500 (K Garnett 2-3, Brandon 1-2, Szczerbiak 0-1, Billups 1-2, Peeler 1-2, Ellis 1-2). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 5 (D Garrett 3, K Garnett, Nesterovic). Turnovers: 11 (Billups 2, Brandon 2, D Garrett 2, Ellis 2, Mitchell, Peeler, Szczerbiak). Steals: 5 (Brandon 2, Ellis, K Garnett, Szczerbiak).

WASHINGTON (115) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Howard 34 10-17 2-2 2-9 5 5 22 Nesby 32 5-9 4-4 0-1 2 1 15 Booth 33 2-5 4-4 1-10 1 2 8 Lopez 37 10-13 4-6 1-6 3 2 26 C Whitney 46 3-6 7-7 0-2 13 1 14 Ekezie 15 1-2 3-4 1-3 1 4 5 Hamilton 29 5-11 5-6 1-3 1 1 16 Michael Smith 14 2-3 5-7 0-1 0 2 9 P Jones DNP - coach's decision King DNP - coach's decision Strickland DNP - sore hamstrings J White DNP - left knee sprain _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-66 34-40 6-35 26 18 115 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.576, FT-.850. 3-Point Goals: 5-11, .455 (Nesby 1-3, Lopez 2-2, C Whitney 1-3, Hamilton 1-3). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 6 (Booth 5, Howard). Turnovers: 11 (C Whitney 3, Hamilton 3, Howard, Lopez, Michael Smith, Nesby). Steals: 7 (Lopez 2, Michael Smith 2, C Whitney, Hamilton, Nesby). ____________________________________________ Minnesota 29 30 18 31 - 108 Washington 27 32 22 34 - 115 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Minnesota 1 (Illegal Defense, 2:16 2nd). Washington 1 (Michael Smith, 8:11 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 11,712. T: 2:13. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Nolan Fine, George Toliver.


Game Story

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Juwan Howard stood up to Kevin Garnett and gave the Washington Wizards their first winning streak of the season.

Howard scored 22 points, including six in a row early in the fourth quarter, as the Wizards held off the Minnesota Timberwolves, 115-108.

In a 105-88 loss at Minnesota on December 7, Howard was no match for Garnett, who over the last three seasons has emerged as an All-Star power forward while Howard has struggled to find consistency.

This one looked like more of the same when Garnett scored 21 points in the first half. But Howard answered the challenge, holding Garnett without a rebound in the middle two quarters and providing the game's key offensive stretch in the final period.

"I remember things like that," Howard said. "I'm a competitor, and I was really down on myself and upset with myself because I felt that I didn't help the team at all the last time we played them. So I wanted to make a statement tonight. Even though I played with the flu, they didn't stop me. Usually, I don't talk about that kind of stuff."

"Juwan has always been one of the premier players to me and I've always looked up to Juwan and his game," Garnett said. "I've always understood that everyone goes through some kind of struggle but I've always respected him and never looked at it as something other than that."

After a follow shot by LaPhonso Ellis pulled Minnesota within 85-83 with just under 10 minutes to go, Howard scored inside, made a short jumper and again went down low for a hoop, giving the Wizards a 91-83 lead with 7:53 remaining.

"A lot of stuff is being ran through me first," Howard said. "All that does is gives you more confidence because it makes you feel more comfortable out there on the floor. It's all about touches. I've already shown that I can score in this league. When I get the ball, I'm going to do something positive with it."

Washington (7-25) held on with some clutch shooting from Felipe Lopez, Chris Whitney and Richard Hamilton for its first back-to-back wins since March 31-April 4 of last season.

"We are playing great team defense down the stretch," Lopez said. "We are showing that we can trust each other on the offensive and defensive end."

"To say that this was a team victory would be kind of an understatement," Wizards coach Leonard Hamilton said. "They are still extremely determined that we are going to turn our season around and I am so happy for them."

Lopez scored a career-high 26 points and Whitney handed out a career-high 13 assists with 14 points. Howard collected nine rebounds and five assists for the Wizards, who shot a blistering 58 percent (38-of-66) from the field.

"Howard has been playing the best he's played since he re-signed back here (in 1996) after all of that controversy," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "He's playing with a lot of confidence now."

Garnett scored 31 points but eight came in the final two minutes after the outcome had been decided. He was held to a season-low four rebounds.

"(Howard) was a lot more aggressive than the first time we met and you could tell by his boxing out and a couple of pieces of film we had on him," Garnett said.

Ellis had 21 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Minnesota, which has lost three of its last four meetings with Washington. The Timberwolves allowed at least 115 points for the fourth time this season.

After Howard's flurry, Ellis -- who had 15 points in the final period -- hit a jumper. Whitney responded with a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 94-85 with 6:50 to go.

A 3-pointer by Terrell Brandon pulled the Wolves within 96-92 before Lopez made a 3-pointer that rolled around the rim and in as the shot clock expired, restoring a seven-point cushion with 4:27 to play.

"Felipe has gotten better and better as the weeks have progressed," Leonard Hamilton said. "I'm glad to see Felipe step up and I'm sure it's going to give him some confidence."

After a 3-pointer by Minnesota's Anthony Peeler made it 101-97, Hamilton made a long jumper for a six-point lead with 2:46 to go. Michael Smith added two free throws 29 seconds later and it was at least a two-possession game thereafter.

Hamilton scored 16 points, Tyrone Nesby added 15 and Calvin Booth grabbed 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who made 34-of-40 free throws as they won without injured starters Rod Strickland (hamstrings) and Jahidi White (knee sprain).

Brandon scored 16 points, Peeler added 11 and Wally Szczerbiak 10 and 10 assists for the Wolves, who shot 48 percent (44-of-91) and held a 43-35 rebounding edge but shot just 16 free throws, making 12.

Despite Garnett's big first half, the game was tied, 59-59.

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