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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- MINNESOTA 29 19 26 16 90 HOUSTON 17 23 29 19 88 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 37, TERRELL BRANDON 12, WALLY SZCZERBIAK 12 HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 24, STEVE FRANCIS 20, EDDIE GRIFFIN 11

HIGH REBOUND: MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 12, RASHO NESTEROVIC 8 HOU - KEVIN WILLIS 17, STEVE FRANCIS 7

HIGH ASSISTS: MIN - TERRELL BRANDON 9, KEVIN GARNETT 4 HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 10, MOOCHIE NORRIS 4

ATT: 10,724


Extended Box

MINNESOTA (90) AT HOUSTON (88)

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

K GARNETT F 41 16-30 5-5 4 8 12 4 2 1 4 37 SMITH F 27 1-6 4-4 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 6 NESTEROVIC C 25 3-4 0-0 3 5 8 1 3 1 1 6 BRANDON G 34 6-15 0-0 0 2 2 9 1 2 1 12 SZCZERBIAK G 42 6-12 0-0 1 6 7 3 1 2 0 12 PEELER 27 1-7 0-0 0 3 3 3 3 0 0 2 WOODS 16 1-3 0-1 0 4 4 0 2 0 1 2 TRENT 7 1-4 0-0 2 2 4 0 2 0 0 2 BILLUPS 14 4-6 1-2 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 11 LOPEZ 7 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 D GARRETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION MITCHELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-89 10-12 11 31 42 23 19 6 8 90 (.438) (.833) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 8(8 PTS)

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

RICE F 29 2-8 1-1 0 1 1 1 3 0 1 5 THOMAS F 21 1-6 2-2 2 3 5 1 2 1 0 4 CATO C 20 3-6 3-7 1 5 6 0 3 0 1 9 FRANCIS G 42 7-19 5-7 3 4 7 10 0 2 3 20 MOBLEY G 39 9-14 2-2 1 1 2 2 0 2 3 24 K WILLIS 26 4-12 0-0 5 12 17 2 2 0 1 8 GRIFFIN 27 4-11 0-0 1 4 5 0 2 0 0 11 W WILLIAMS 16 2-6 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 4 NORRIS 20 0-0 3-4 1 1 2 4 0 0 4 3 BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION MORRIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TORRES DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 32-82 16-23 14 32 46 21 12 5 13 88 (.390) (.696) TEAM REBS: 14 TOTAL TO: 14(16 PTS)

MINNESOTA 29 19 26 16 - 90 HOUSTON 17 23 29 19 - 88

BLOCKED SHOTS: MINNESOTA - NESTEROVIC 2, SZCZERBIAK, WOODS. HOUSTON - NONE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MINNESOTA 2-5 (.400), BRANDON 0-2, SZCZERBIAK 0-1, BILLUPS 2-2. HOUSTON 8-16 (.500), RICE 0-3, THOMAS 0-1, FRANCIS 1-2, MOBLEY 4-4, K WILLIS 0-1, GRIFFIN 3-4, W WILLIAMS 0-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, MONTY MCCUTCHEN, PHIL ROBINSON. A - 10,724. T - 2:07.


Box Score

MINNESOTA (90) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 41 16-30 5-5 4-12 4 2 37 Smith 27 1-6 4-4 0-0 1 3 6 Nesterovic 25 3-4 0-0 3-8 1 3 6 Brandon 34 6-15 0-0 0-2 9 1 12 Szczerbiak 42 6-12 0-0 1-7 3 1 12 Peeler 27 1-7 0-0 0-3 3 3 2 Woods 16 1-3 0-1 0-4 0 2 2 Trent 7 1-4 0-0 2-4 0 2 2 Billups 14 4-6 1-2 0-1 0 2 11 Lopez 7 0-2 0-0 1-1 2 0 0 D Garrett DNP - coach's decision Mitchell DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-89 10-12 11-42 23 19 90 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.438, FT-.833. 3-Point Goals: 2-5, .400 (Brandon 0-2, Szczerbiak 0-1, Billups 2-2). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (Nesterovic 2, Szczerbiak, Woods). Turnovers: 8 (K Garnett 4, Brandon, Lopez, Nesterovic, Woods). Steals: 6 (Brandon 2, Szczerbiak 2, K Garnett, Nesterovic).

HOUSTON (88) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rice 29 2-8 1-1 0-1 1 3 5 Thomas 21 1-6 2-2 2-5 1 2 4 Cato 20 3-6 3-7 1-6 0 3 9 Francis 42 7-19 5-7 3-7 10 0 20 Mobley 39 9-14 2-2 1-2 2 0 24 K Willis 26 4-12 0-0 5-17 2 2 8 Griffin 27 4-11 0-0 1-5 0 2 11 W Williams 16 2-6 0-0 0-1 1 0 4 Norris 20 0-0 3-4 1-2 4 0 3 Brown DNP - coach's decision Morris DNP - coach's decision Torres DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-82 16-23 14-46 21 12 88 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.390, FT-.696. 3-Point Goals: 8-16, .500 (Rice 0-3, Thomas 0-1, Francis 1-2, Mobley 4-4, K Willis 0-1, Griffin 3-4, W Williams 0-1). Team rebounds: 14. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 14 (Norris 4, Francis 3, Mobley 3, Cato, K Willis, Rice). Steals: 5 (Francis 2, Mobley 2, Thomas). ____________________________________________ Minnesota 29 19 26 16 - 90 Houston 17 23 29 19 - 88 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: Houston 1 (Thomas, 7:35 3rd). A: 10,724. T: 2:07. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Monty Mccutchen, Phil Robinson.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett was unstoppable, but Terrell Brandon was the hero for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Garnett had 37 points and 12 rebounds but missed two crucial shots in the final minute and Brandon drained a clutch jumper with two seconds left to lift Minnesota to a 90-88 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Houston could not handle Garnett, who made 16-of-30 shots from the floor and all of five of his free throws. However, the All-Star forward missed two jump shots that would have given the Timberwolves a four-point lead in the final minute.

His second miss led to a fast break for the Rockets and Steve Francis fed Cuttino Mobley for a game-tying dunk with 15 seconds remaining.

Minnesota could not get the ball to Garnett on its final possession and Brandon wound up nailing a 15-foot fadeaway over Mobley with two seconds left. It was the only basket of the second half for Brandon, who scored eight of his 12 points in the first quarter.

"The play was side pick-and-roll," Brandon said. "(Garnett) backed off me because he didn't know what I was going to do. That's how I created the space to take the shot."

"We had a foul to give and we didn't do it," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "It was defensive mistake. I wanted us to take the foul and make them bring the ball in again, we should still be playing."

The Timberwolves improved to 3-0 after Houston's Glen Rice just missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

"Glen Rice got a good look," Brandon said. "When it was in the air, all of us were saying, `Oh, no,' but it came up short."

The Rockets suffered their first loss after opening the season with consecutive overtime victories.

Mobley scored 24 points and Francis had 20, 10 assists and seven rebounds. First-round pick Eddie Griffin contributed 11 points and Kevin Willis had eight points and 17 rebounds off the bench.

Aside from his offensive heroics, Brandon handed out nine assists and recorded two key steals in the final minute to negate a pair of miscues by Garnett.

Mobley drained a long jumper with 3:12 to go to bring Houston within 86-84 before Garnett threw a pass out of bounds.

Brandon stole the ball from Mobley at the other end, but Garnett missed a fadeaway jumper. Brandon robbed Francis on the defensive end and missed a layup, but Wally Szczerbiak tipped it in for an 88-84 lead.

Willis followed a missed dunk by Francis with a layup to halve the deficit before Garnett missed another jumper and Mobley tied it.

Garnett scored 15 points in the opening 12 minutes as Minnesota jumped out to a 29-17 lead after the first quarter.

"I just tried to wear them out with Garnett," Brandon said. "When he got 15 in the first quarter, I said, `This is going to be a special night, let's try to get him 50.' I just wanted to take a back seat and enjoy the show."

The Timberwolves had a 52-42 lead with 10:26 left in the third quarter before Houston went on a 15-4 run to take its first lead, 57-56, on a 3-pointer by Mobley with 6:40 left.

After the teams traded baskets, Minnesota responded with a 14-3 run led by Garnett, who scored eight points during the stretch.

"Kevin Garnett was great tonight," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "He was not happy with the way he played in the first game and I think he was extra motivated these last two nights."

Garnett was guarded by forward Kenny Thomas throughout the game until Houston switched Griffin, a rookie, to guard him.

"I don't care who is in front of me," Garnett said. "I don't get caught up in that. I think Kenny Thomas can hold his own pretty good, but he didn't do so tonight. After we were done, I slapped (Griffin) in the butt and said, `Welcome to the league.'"

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