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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     MINNESOTA        28   14   26   26    94   
     HOUSTON          20   23   25   20    88      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 27, SAM CASSELL 24, 
                      LATRELL SPREWELL 15
                HOU - MAURICE TAYLOR 17, CUTTINO MOBLEY 17, 
                      STEVE FRANCIS 17

HIGH REBOUND:   MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 11, SAM CASSELL 6, ERVIN 
                      JOHNSON 5
                HOU - MAURICE TAYLOR 10, CUTTINO MOBLEY 9, 
                      STEVE FRANCIS 8

HIGH ASSISTS:   MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 9, LATRELL SPREWELL 7, SAM
                      CASSELL 4
                HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 7, JIMMY JACKSON 4, 
                      CUTTINO MOBLEY 4

         ATT:   16,270

Box Score

MINNESOTA (94) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp L Sprewell 41 5-18 4-4 0-2 7 1 15 K Garnett 39 9-18 9-9 4-11 9 2 27 E Johnson 30 1-1 0-0 0-5 1 1 2 S Cassell 36 8-14 6-7 1-6 4 3 24 T Hassell 26 3-8 0-0 2-4 0 2 6 M Madsen 12 0-1 0-0 2-3 1 1 0 F Hoiberg 11 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 1 3 T Hudson 12 2-4 0-0 0-1 2 1 4 W Szczerbiak 19 3-9 2-2 0-0 1 2 9 M Olowokandi 10 2-3 0-0 0-1 0 3 4 G Trent 4 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 2 0 O Miller DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-80 21-22 9-36 25 19 94 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.425, FT-.955. 3-Point Goals: 5-11, .455 (L Sprewell 1-4, S Cassell 2-2, F Hoiberg 1-2, T Hudson 0-1, W Szczerbiak 1-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots:10 (E Johnson 3, K Garnett 3, S Cassell 2, M Olowokandi 2). Turnovers:11 (S Cassell 5, K Garnett 3, L Sprewell, T Hudson, M Olowokandi). Steals: 9 (E Johnson 3, K Garnett 2, G Trent, W Szczerbiak, S Cassell, F Hoiberg). HOUSTON (88) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 45 7-11 1-1 0-6 4 4 16 M Taylor 40 8-17 1-1 5-10 1 3 17 Y Ming 38 8-14 0-0 2-7 2 4 16 S Francis 38 7-11 3-6 4-8 7 5 17 C Mobley 46 6-18 3-3 0-9 4 0 17 C Weatherspoon 18 1-4 0-0 1-2 1 1 2 M Jackson 10 1-4 1-2 1-2 3 0 3 B Nachbar 5 0-4 0-0 1-3 0 0 0 C Oakley DNP - COACH'S DECISION E Piatkowski DNP - COACH'S DECISION S Padgett DNP - COACH'S DECISION M Wilks DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-83 9-13 14-47 22 17 88 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.458, FT-.692. 3-Point Goals: 3-11, .273 (J Jackson 1-1, C Mobley 2-7, M Jackson 0-2, B Nachbar 0-1). Team Rebounds: 9. Blocked Shots:4 (C Mobley 2, J Jackson, Y Ming). Turnovers:17 (S Francis 6, J Jackson 4, M Jackson 2, Y Ming 2, M Taylor 2, C Weatherspoon). Steals: 7 (M Taylor 2, C Mobley 2, J Jackson, S Francis, Y Ming). ------------------------------------------- MINNESOTA 28 14 26 26 - 94 HOUSTON 20 23 25 20 - 88 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Minnesota - 1 (Defensive Three, 3:19 1st). Houston - 1 (Defensive Three, 6:32 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,270. T: 2:15. Officials: Joe Derosa, Marc Davis, Monty McCutchen.


Extended Box

MINNESOTA (94) AT HOUSTON (88) MINNESOTA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === L SPREWELL F 41 5-18 4-4 0 2 2 7 1 0 1 15 K GARNETT F 39 9-18 9-9 4 7 11 9 2 2 3 27 E JOHNSON C 30 1-1 0-0 0 5 5 1 1 3 0 2 S CASSELL G 36 8-14 6-7 1 5 6 4 3 1 5 24 T HASSELL G 26 3-8 0-0 2 2 4 0 2 0 0 6 M MADSEN 12 0-1 0-0 2 1 3 1 1 0 0 0 F HOIBERG 11 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 3 T HUDSON 12 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 0 1 4 W SZCZERBIAK 19 3-9 2-2 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 9 M OLOWOKANDI 10 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 0 1 4 G TRENT 4 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 1 0 0 O MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 34-80 21-22 9 27 36 25 19 9 11 94 (.425) (.955) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 11 (13 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J JACKSON F 45 7-11 1-1 0 6 6 4 4 1 4 16 M TAYLOR F 40 8-17 1-1 5 5 10 1 3 2 2 17 Y MING C 38 8-14 0-0 2 5 7 2 4 1 2 16 S FRANCIS G 38 7-11 3-6 4 4 8 7 5 1 6 17 C MOBLEY G 46 6-18 3-3 0 9 9 4 0 2 0 17 C WEATHERSPOON 18 1-4 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 0 1 2 M JACKSON 10 1-4 1-2 1 1 2 3 0 0 2 3 B NACHBAR 5 0-4 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 C OAKLEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION E PIATKOWSKI DNP - COACH'S DECISION S PADGETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION M WILKS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 38-83 9-13 14 33 47 22 17 7 17 88 (.458) (.692) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 19 (17 PTS) MINNESOTA 28 14 26 26 - 94 HOUSTON 20 23 25 20 - 88 BLOCKED SHOTS: MINNESOTA - E JOHNSON 3, K GARNETT 3, S CASSELL 2, M OLOWOKANDI 2. HOUSTON - C MOBLEY 2, J JACKSON, Y MING. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MINNESOTA 5-11 (.455), L SPREWELL 1-4, S CASSELL 2- 2, F HOIBERG 1-2, T HUDSON 0-1, W SZCZERBIAK 1-2. HOUSTON 3-11 (.273), J JACKSON 1-1, C MOBLEY 2-7, M JACKSON 0-2, B NACHBAR 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: MINNESOTA - DEFENSIVE THREE. HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JOE DEROSA, MARC DAVIS, MONTY MCCUTCHEN. A - 16,270. T - 2:15.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett once again made a convincing case for league MVP. Garnett collected 27 points, including the go-ahead basket, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves edged the Houston Rockets, 94-88, in a possible Western Conference playoff matchup. The game concluded an important four-game road trip for the Timberwolves (51-24), who went 2-2. They play their next three games at home as they try to wrap up their first Midwest Division title. Minnesota maintained its 1 1/2-game lead over San Antonio atop the Midwest Division and likely would be the second seed in the West. Houston (42-31) is seventh. "The last game of a road trip is always tough, especially after being out West," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "Kevin took the game over down the stretch for us." The game was played with a playoff-like intensity as both teams fight for postseason seeding. "We're fighting for position," said Saunders, whose team has yet to win a playoff series. "We could be seeded first or sixth, depending upon what we do. We need as many wins as we can get. We are trying to control our own destiny." After Houston's Steve Francis tied the game at 88-88 on a jump shot with 34 seconds left, Garnett took a feed from Latrell Sprewell on the baseline, dribbled into the lane and swished a jumper over the outstretched arm of 7-6 center Yao Ming with 18 seconds left. "We wanted to have a little movement on the play," Garnett said. "I knew I needed to have more lift on my shot to get it over Yao. I made some costly mistakes at the end and I knew I needed to be aggressive." Minnesota finished the game with a 13-4 run, following Yao's layup with 2:18 left that gave Houston a 84-81 lead. Garnett scored six points in the final burst. "Garnett's greatness came through at the end," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "He split a double team and made a tough shot. They're a heck of a team." "With the game on the line, you've got to get the ball in the hands of the MVP and let him decide it," Sprewell said. "Get the ball to KG - it was as simple as that." Following a timeout, Francis passed to a wide-open Yao at the top of the key, but Yao, who was 8-of-14 from the field, front-rimmed the jumper. Sprewell grabbed the rebound, was fouled and sank two free throws with 8.6 seconds left to effectively ice the contest. "It was very out of the ordinary. I could have never thought about (missing the shot), but it's not the first time it's happened," Yao said. "We've gone over that play many times in practice, so I would have to say I felt prepared." The Rockets lost for only the sixth time this season when shooting better than 45 percent from the field. They shot 46 percent (38-of-83) as all five starters finished in double figures Houston dominated in the paint, scoring 46 points to Minnesota's 24 and holding a 47-36 rebounding advantage. But 19 turnovers led to 17 points for the Timberwolves, who turned over the ball just 11 times. "We just have to somehow cut down on mistakes," Van Gundy said. "This could have been a huge win. We outrebounded them and almost doubled their points in the paint. It's a very tough loss." Sam Cassell added 24 points for the Timberwolves, who earned a split of the season series for the fourth consecutive year.


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