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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- MINNESOTA 16 29 26 18 89 DENVER 21 14 17 19 71 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 24, DEAN GARRETT 10, TWO PLAYERS WITH 9 DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 16, ANTONIO MCDYESS 12, NICK VAN EXEL 10

HIGH REBOUND: MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 14, WALLY SZCZERBIAK 6 DEN - ANTONIO MCDYESS 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5

HIGH ASSISTS: MIN - TERRELL BRANDON 5, THREE PLAYERS WITH 4 DEN - NICK VAN EXEL 8, JAMES POSEY 5

ATT: 17,844


Extended Box

MINNESOTA (89) AT DENVER (71)

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

K GARNETT F 36 9-14 6-8 2 12 14 4 1 0 2 24 SZCZERBIAK F 29 3-9 1-1 4 2 6 4 3 1 1 7 SLATER C 19 4-9 0-0 0 4 4 0 4 1 0 8 BRANDON G 33 3-11 2-2 2 3 5 5 1 0 2 8 PEELER G 21 2-5 4-4 2 1 3 1 0 2 4 9 ELLIS 17 2-3 1-2 3 2 5 2 5 1 1 5 BILLUPS 27 1-8 5-6 0 5 5 4 3 0 3 7 D GARRETT 20 5-6 0-0 2 3 5 1 0 4 0 10 MITCHELL 15 1-5 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 2 AVERY 15 4-6 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 0 3 9 LOPEZ 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 NESTEROVIC 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 34-76 19-23 16 35 51 23 22 9 17 89 (.447) (.826) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 17(18 PTS)

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

MCDYESS F 31 5-13 2-2 1 6 7 1 2 1 1 12 POSEY F 20 1-7 0-0 3 2 5 5 2 3 2 3 LAFRENTZ C 26 5-8 4-4 0 2 2 0 4 0 1 16 LENARD G 25 1-7 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 VAN EXEL G 33 4-13 1-2 0 2 2 8 2 1 1 10 MCCLOUD 25 1-5 2-2 0 2 2 2 1 0 2 4 WILLIS 13 3-7 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 6 PACK 19 3-8 0-0 0 1 1 4 2 2 3 6 DAVIS 9 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 BOWEN 20 4-5 1-4 2 1 3 1 1 0 2 9 STRICKLAND 19 1-4 1-2 2 3 5 0 3 1 2 3 ABDUL-WAHAD DNP - TONSILLITIS

TOTALS 240 28-78 11-16 9 23 32 23 19 8 15 71 (.359) (.688) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 16(20 PTS)

MINNESOTA 16 29 26 18 - 89 DENVER 21 14 17 19 - 71

BLOCKED SHOTS: MINNESOTA - D GARRETT 3, K GARNETT 2, ELLIS 2, SZCZERBIAK 2, BRANDON, BILLUPS, MITCHELL. DENVER - LAFRENTZ 3, MCDYESS, STRICKLAND. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MINNESOTA 2-10 (.200), K GARNETT 0-1, PEELER 1-3, BILLUPS 0-3, MITCHELL 0-1, AVERY 1-2. DENVER 4-14 (.286), POSEY 1-2, LAFRENTZ 2-3, LENARD 0-3, VAN EXEL 1-4, MCCLOUD 0-2. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, TIM DONAGHY, DEREK RICHARDSON. A - 17,844. T - 2:02.


Box Score

MINNESOTA (89) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 36 9-14 6-8 2-14 4 1 24 Szczerbiak 29 3-9 1-1 4-6 4 3 7 Slater 19 4-9 0-0 0-4 0 4 8 Brandon 33 3-11 2-2 2-5 5 1 8 Peeler 21 2-5 4-4 2-3 1 0 9 Ellis 17 2-3 1-2 3-5 2 5 5 Billups 27 1-8 5-6 0-5 4 3 7 D Garrett 20 5-6 0-0 2-5 1 0 10 Mitchell 15 1-5 0-0 1-2 1 1 2 Avery 15 4-6 0-0 0-2 1 2 9 Lopez 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Nesterovic 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-76 19-23 16-51 23 22 89 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.447, FT-.826. 3-Point Goals: 2-10, .200 (K Garnett 0-1, Peeler 1-3, Billups 0-3, Mitchell 0-1, Avery 1-2). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 12 (D Garrett 3, K Garnett 2, Ellis 2, Szczerbiak 2, Brandon, Billups, Mitchell). Turnovers: 17 (Peeler 4, Avery 3, Billups 3, Brandon 2, K Garnett 2, Ellis, Lopez, Szczerbiak). Steals: 9 (D Garrett 4, Peeler 2, Ellis, Slater, Szczerbiak).

DENVER (71) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mcdyess 31 5-13 2-2 1-7 1 2 12 Posey 20 1-7 0-0 3-5 5 2 3 Lafrentz 26 5-8 4-4 0-2 0 4 16 Lenard 25 1-7 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 Van Exel 33 4-13 1-2 0-2 8 2 10 Mccloud 25 1-5 2-2 0-2 2 1 4 Willis 13 3-7 0-0 1-3 1 0 6 Pack 19 3-8 0-0 0-1 4 2 6 Davis 9 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 Bowen 20 4-5 1-4 2-3 1 1 9 Strickland 19 1-4 1-2 2-5 0 3 3 Abdul-wahad DNP - tonsillitis _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-78 11-16 9-32 23 19 71 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.359, FT-.688. 3-Point Goals: 4-14, .286 (Posey 1-2, Lafrentz 2-3, Lenard 0-3, Van Exel 1-4, Mccloud 0-2). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 5 (Lafrentz 3, Mcdyess, Strickland). Turnovers: 16 (Pack 3, Bowen 2, Mccloud 2, Posey 2, Strickland 2, Lafrentz, Lenard, Mcdyess, Van Exel). Steals: 8 (Posey 3, Pack 2, Mcdyess, Strickland, Van Exel). ____________________________________________ Minnesota 16 29 26 18 - 89 Denver 21 14 17 19 - 71 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 17,844. T: 2:02. Officials: Dan Crawford, Tim Donaghy, Derek Richardson.


Game Story

DENVER (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Dean Garrett scored a season-high 10 points off the bench as the Minnesota Timberwolves crusied to an 89-71 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Garnett made 9-of-14 shots and Garrett 5-of-6 as Minnesota halted a three-game road losing streak and moved three games ahead of Houston for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

"Our focus tonight was mainly defense," said Garnett, who had two of Minnesota's 12 blocked shots. "A guy like (Antonio) McDyess, he jumps so high you can't stop him. You just have to throw a hand up and hope you can alter his shot. He's probably the most underrated player in the game. We just came out and tried to match their intensity. We got a comfortable lead and kept it."

Ten different players saw at least 15 minutes of action for Minnesota, which held a 51-32 advantage on the boards. Anthony Peeler and reserve William Avery each contributed nine points as the Timberwolves won for the first time in three meetings with the Nuggets this season.

"There were two things -- No. 1, we executed offensively and didn't let them get going in transition, and No. 2, Garnett was good on the glass," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "We were very aggressive on defense."

Raef LaFrentz scored 16 points and McDyess added 12 and seven rebounds for Denver, which fell 6 1/2 games behind Minnesota. McDyess entered the game shooting 51 percent but made just 5-of-13 shots.

The Nuggets shot just 36 percent (28-of-78) and were held to their lowest point total since a 70-68 loss to Chicago last March 24. Denver has lost 14 of 20 games since winning four straight from January 12-19.

"I don't know what to say to the team. It was embarrassing," Denver coach Dan Issel said. "This was a huge game. I can't believe we came out as flat as we did and gave as little effort as we did. I can't explain."

Nick Van Exel, who scored 11 points in the final 38 seconds of Wednesday's 107-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, had 10 points and eight assists but sat out the fourth quarter.

"The Lakers win is worth nothing now after a loss like this," McDyess said. "I just can't understand how we can give such a great effort against the Lakers and come out with such a weak effort tonight. It especially hurts to lose to the T'Wolves because of their position in the standings."

Van Exel and backcourt partner Voshon Lenard shot just 5-of-20.

"We did a very good job on Nick and Antonio," Saunders said. "I let Kevin guard McDyess 1-on-1 because he's the best in the league on low-block defense."

LaFrentz scored 11 points, making 4-of-5 shots, in the first quarter, when the Nuggets took a 21-16 lead.

Garnett had six points and Garrett four as Minnesota used a 12-0 burst to take the lead for good in the second quarter. Garnett's 18-footer capped it for a 32-25 lead with 5:38 to go.

Minnesota scored the final six points of the period and took a 45-35 lead into the break.

Garnett scored seven points as the Wolves opened the third quarter on an 18-4 tear, pushing the margin to 63-39 when Peeler made two free throws with 6:18 to go.

Minnesota carried a 71-52 advantage into the fourth quarter. The Wolves built the lead to 83-55 when Chauncey Billups finished a fast break with a layup with 5:17 left.

Billups made only 1-of-8 shots but grabbed five rebounds and handed out four assists while committing only one turnover.

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