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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     SAN ANTONIO      22   25   15   19    81   
     MINNESOTA        35   12   21   18    86      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   SAS - TIM DUNCAN 26, HIDAYET TURKOGLU 19, 
                      MALIK ROSE 15
                MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 27, LATRELL SPREWELL 20, 
                      SAM CASSELL 14

HIGH REBOUND:   SAS - HIDAYET TURKOGLU 9, MALIK ROSE 8, TIM 
                      DUNCAN 8
                MIN - SAM CASSELL 10, KEVIN GARNETT 10, ERVIN 
                      JOHNSON 8

HIGH ASSISTS:   SAS - TONY PARKER 12, TIM DUNCAN 5, BRUCE 
                      BOWEN 4
                MIN - SAM CASSELL 11, KEVIN GARNETT 4, LATRELL
                      SPREWELL 3

         ATT:   20,111

Box Score

SAN ANTONIO (81) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp B Bowen 41 2-4 0-0 2-5 4 2 4 T Duncan 37 12-23 2-6 3-8 5 3 26 R Nesterovic 21 1-7 0-0 1-4 1 3 2 H Turkoglu 36 8-13 1-1 1-9 3 3 19 T Parker 40 5-16 1-2 0-5 12 2 11 E Ginobili 21 2-11 0-0 3-6 3 2 4 M Rose 28 5-11 5-5 4-8 0 4 15 D Brown 7 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 R Horry 9 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 5 0 C Ward DNP - COACH'S DECISION K Willis DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Hart DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-86 9-14 14-48 28 24 81 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.407, FT-.643. 3-Point Goals: 2-12, .167 (B Bowen 0-1, T Duncan 0-1, H Turkoglu 2-4, T Parker 0-2, E Ginobili 0-4). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:7 (T Duncan 3, R Nesterovic 3, B Bowen). Turnovers:14 (T Duncan 4, E Ginobili 3, M Rose 2, H Turkoglu 2, B Bowen 2, T Parker). Steals: 7 (H Turkoglu 3, R Horry, T Parker, E Ginobili, T Duncan). MINNESOTA (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp L Sprewell 39 10-22 0-0 0-2 3 2 20 K Garnett 39 10-20 7-9 2-10 4 1 27 E Johnson 29 3-3 2-4 1-8 0 4 8 T Hassell 39 3-6 1-2 2-5 0 2 7 S Cassell 37 2-11 10-11 0-10 11 3 14 F Hoiberg 14 0-2 0-0 0-1 1 4 0 M Madsen 11 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 2 W Szczerbiak 21 3-5 2-2 0-1 0 0 8 M Olowokandi 11 0-3 0-0 1-2 0 3 0 G Trent DNP - COACH'S DECISION O Miller DNP - COACH'S DECISION T Hudson DNP - SORE RIGHT ANKLE _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-75 22-28 6-40 19 19 86 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.427, FT-.786. 3-Point Goals: 0-4, .000 (L Sprewell 0-3, F Hoiberg 0-1). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:8 (E Johnson 3, K Garnett 3, T Hassell 2). Turnovers:10 (K Garnett 3, L Sprewell 2, S Cassell 2, M Olowokandi, W Szczerbiak, T Hassell). Steals: 8 (E Johnson 2, F Hoiberg 2, L Sprewell, W Szczerbiak, K Garnett, S Cassell). ------------------------------------------- SAN ANTONIO 22 25 15 19 - 81 MINNESOTA 35 12 21 18 - 86 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: San Antonio - 2 (COACH Popovich, 6:32 2nd; B Bowen, 5:45 4th). Minnesota - 2 (Defensive Three, 3:31 2nd; E Johnson, 5:45 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 20,111. T: 2:13. Officials: Leroy Richardson, Mark Wunderlich, Ron Garretson.


Extended Box

SAN ANTONIO (81) AT MINNESOTA (86) SAN ANTONIO REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === B BOWEN F 41 2-4 0-0 2 3 5 4 2 0 2 4 T DUNCAN F 37 12-23 2-6 3 5 8 5 3 1 4 26 R NESTEROVIC C 21 1-7 0-0 1 3 4 1 3 0 0 2 H TURKOGLU G 36 8-13 1-1 1 8 9 3 3 3 2 19 T PARKER G 40 5-16 1-2 0 5 5 12 2 1 1 11 E GINOBILI 21 2-11 0-0 3 3 6 3 2 1 3 4 M ROSE 28 5-11 5-5 4 4 8 0 4 0 2 15 D BROWN 7 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 R HORRY 9 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 5 1 0 0 C WARD DNP - COACH'S DECISION K WILLIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION J HART DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 35-86 9-14 14 34 48 28 24 7 14 81 (.407) (.643) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 14 (8 PTS) MINNESOTA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === L SPREWELL F 39 10-22 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 1 2 20 K GARNETT F 39 10-20 7-9 2 8 10 4 1 1 3 27 E JOHNSON C 29 3-3 2-4 1 7 8 0 4 2 0 8 T HASSELL G 39 3-6 1-2 2 3 5 0 2 0 1 7 S CASSELL G 37 2-11 10-11 0 10 10 11 3 1 2 14 F HOIBERG 14 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 4 2 0 0 M MADSEN 11 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 W SZCZERBIAK 21 3-5 2-2 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 8 M OLOWOKANDI 11 0-3 0-0 1 1 2 0 3 0 1 0 G TRENT DNP - COACH'S DECISION O MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION T HUDSON DNP - SORE RIGHT ANKLE TOTALS 240 32-75 22-28 6 34 40 19 19 8 10 86 (.427) (.786) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 10 (13 PTS) SAN ANTONIO 22 25 15 19 - 81 MINNESOTA 35 12 21 18 - 86 BLOCKED SHOTS: SAN ANTONIO - T DUNCAN 3, R NESTEROVIC 3, B BOWEN. MINNESOTA - E JOHNSON 3, K GARNETT 3, T HASSELL 2. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: SAN ANTONIO 2-12 (.167), B BOWEN 0-1, T DUNCAN 0- 1, H TURKOGLU 2-4, T PARKER 0-2, E GINOBILI 0-4. MINNESOTA 0-4 (.000), L SPREWELL 0-3, F HOIBERG 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: SAN ANTONIO - COACH POPOVICH, B BOWEN. MINNESOTA - DEFENSIVE THREE, E JOHNSON. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: LEROY RICHARDSON, MARK WUNDERLICH, RON GARRETSON. A - 20,111. T - 2:13.


Game Story

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The MVP matchup between Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan was settled by a guy averaging 1.9 points per game. Ervin Johnson forced and won a jump ball with Duncan in the final seconds, helping the Minnesota Timberwolves hold on for a pivotal 86-81 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The duel between Duncan, who has won the last two NBA MVP awards, and Garnett, who is the favorite this year, lived up to the hype. Duncan had 26 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks, while Garnett - taking a few turns at point guard - had 27, 10, four and three. "If there's any question of KG being MVP, watch this game," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "He's the league leader in rebounds and we had to make him play the point a couple different times tonight. Who else can do that?" "There was a 'something to prove' feeling tonight," Garnett said. "This was a playoff-like game. It had the hype, the great teams, the fans - everything. But it's still March, not April." For most of the game, the superstars did not defend each other. Down the stretch, the chore of guarding Duncan fell to Johnson, a defensive-minded veteran. The Spurs trailed, 83-81, when they tracked down the offensive rebound of Hedo Turkoglu's missed 3-pointer with 23 seconds to go and went to Duncan in the low post. As Duncan spun to the basket, Johnson slapped the ball away, and the big men grappled for it on the floor. "I love the challenge of guarding Duncan," Johnson said. "I'm not going to run from a challenge. We never doubled him. I was all 1-on-1. He still got his numbers; they just lost. You just have to make it tough on him. "I watch his moves. I watch him even when we're not playing him. He isn't the quickest guy, but he's the most fundamental guy in the league." On the ensuing jump ball with 15 seconds left, Johnson tapped the ball toward the baseline. It bounced off teammate Trenton Hassell and right back to Johnson, who again went to the floor to gain possession and came up with it this time. "I had two or three opportunities to make plays in the final minutes, but didn't get it done," Duncan said. Sam Cassell made two free throws for an 85-81 lead with nine seconds remaining and Garnett added a foul shot, giving Minnesota its third straight win since a loss to San Antonio five days ago. Johnson had eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks for the Wolves (49-22), who moved three games in front of the Spurs (46-25) atop the Midwest Division with 11 to play. "This is how the playoffs will be," Saunders said. "They bullied us a little and we lost the battle for the boards (48-40). We need to play these kind of games. Before, we were not the kind of team that could mud it up. This year we proved we could do that a little more." "If we see them in the playoffs, I like our chances," said Spurs forward Malik Rose, who had 15 points and eight rebounds. "Minnesota has played well all year, but the playoffs are a different matter." Cassell had his third career triple-double with 14 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who jumped out to a 15-point lead but trailed with less than three minutes to play. "The best things about this game is that everybody played to their strengths," Saunders said. "Sam didn't shoot the ball well, but he did other things and ended up with a triple-double." Hedo Turkoglu scored 19 points and Tony Parker added 11 and 12 assists for the Spurs, who made just 2-of-12 3-pointers and 9-of-14 free throws. Garnett came from the weak side to block a shot by Duncan, then made a free throw as the sellout crowd of 20,111 at the Target Center chanted "MVP!" to give the Wolves a 77-72 lead. But Duncan responded with an inside hoop and a free throw. Turkoglu turned a steal into a three-point play, then answered Garnett's two foul shots with a 3-pointer, giving San Antonio an 81-79 lead with three minutes to play. "This is how it is going to be when we play San Antonio," Johnson said. "It's going to be a dogfight for 48 minutes." Garnett made a jumper to tie it, and Duncan missed two free throws at the other end. Cassell sank a pair from the line to give Minnesota the lead for good with 2:02 remaining.


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