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NBA Playoff Game Summary - Minnesota at LA Lakers

(Thursday, April 24th)

Final Score: Minnesota 114, LA Lakers 110 (OT)

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kevin Garnett scored 33 points and grabbed 17 rebounds before fouling out in overtime, but Minnesota still pulled out a 114-110 victory over Los Angeles in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series at Staples Center.

The Timberwolves, who rolled to a 119-91 blowout in Game 2, now own a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with Game 4 scheduled for Sunday in Los Angeles.

"I knew it would be a difficult game. Our main advantage is that this is a good team that does play together," Minnesota head coach Flip Saunders said of his squad after the game.

Troy Hudson added 27 points for Minnesota, but the key in overtime was Marc Jackson, who drained a few clutch free throws near the end of the game to seal the victory. Jackson finished with 12 points.

"At the end of the day, we just felt that we have a lot of confidence in ourselves," Garnett said of his teammates after the game.

Kobe Bryant, who sparkled at the end of regulation to keep Los Angeles in the game, ended with 30 points. Shaquille O'Neal added 28 points and 17 rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost two straight playoff games for the first time since May of 2000. Derek Fisher chipped in 23 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Garnett fouled out just 12 seconds into the overtime. It was a blow for Minnesota, which had counted on his scoring punch and shot-contesting abilities all game long.

The Wolves didn't seem fazed, however, as Anthony Peeler opened the frame with a pair of baskets to give his team a 105-101 advantage. Four points from O'Neal and a technical foul shot from Bryant turned the tables, however, and gave the Lakers a 106-105 lead with just under two minutes remaining.

The teams then traded foul shots and LA still held a one-point lead until Gary Trent's free throws gave Minnesota a 109-108 edge. Bryant missed a shot at the other end that would have given the Lakers back the lead, and Jackson took advantage by hitting a pair from the stripe to make it a three-point game.

O'Neal had an opportunity to draw Los Angeles within one from the line, but he made just 1-of-2.

The Wolves then gained possession and Jackson stepped to the line with just seven seconds to play, draining 1-of-2 for a 112-109 lead. Bryant's three- point attempt then rattled out with two ticks left, but the Lakers still managed to get another shot.

O'Neal went to the line again with an opportunity to make it a one-point game, but he made two mistakes: missing the first shot, and then draining the second when he was trying to miss for the offensive rebound. Hudson then sealed the win with two free throws at the other end.

"This is a disappointing loss," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. "We have to go back and rethink some things."

The Lakers had trailed by nine heading into the fourth quarter, but opened the frame with a 12-4 burst, pulling within 84-83 on O'Neal's three-point play at the 8:00 mark. LA then grabbed the lead less than three minutes later when Rick Fox drained a pair of free throws to make it 89-87.

Minnesota responded strongly, however, crawling back with eight straight points to grab a 95-89 advantage. The Wolves held a slim edge until Bryant took over late in the quarter.

With the Lakers trailing by five at 101-96, Bryant leaned into a three- pointer, drew a foul and completed a clutch four-point play to pull LA within 101-100 with just 17 seconds remaining in regulation. Minnesota tried to inbound the ball at the other end after a timeout, but Peeler stumbled out of bounds, giving the Lakers a key possession.

Bryant was fouled at the other end and made 1-of-2 from the line to tie the game at 101-101. The Timberwolves had one last chance to end the game in regulation, but Hudson's deep three at the buzzer missed its mark, sending the game into overtime.

Minnesota looked to be taking control of the game earlier in the second half.

Garnett drained his first four shots of the half, leading the Wolves on a 10-4 burst to open the third quarter. His turn-around baseline jumper at the 9:18 mark capped the spurt and gave Minnesota a 62-50 lead. The Lakers cut that advantage to eight courtesy of Bryant's free throws, which pulled LA within 64-56.

But the Minnesota offense was unrelenting and the Laker defense could not stop it. Hudson's jumper made it 69-56 midway through the frame and the Wolves held that 13-point cushion for a couple of minutes.

Then Fisher got hot and almost single-handedly got LA back into the game, scoring the Lakers next nine points to get the team within 73-65. Bryant's free throws finished off a 9-2 LA burst and made it 73-67 with 1:24 remaining in the frame. Minnesota was able to extend its lead to nine, however, and carried an 80-71 lead into the fourth quarter.

Hudson's deep three-pointer at the end of the first quarter capped a 9-0 Minnesota burst and gave the Wolves a 29-24 lead heading into the second. The Wolves then extended that advantage to six briefly in the opening moments of the frame, but the Lakers came back and tied the game at 33-33 on O'Neal's bucket around the 8:00 mark.

The score was still tied at 37-37 later in the stanza when Minnesota started a 13-4 run. Kendall Gill's free throws with less than two minutes before the break capped the spurt and gave the Timberwolves their largest lead of the half at 50-41. Los Angeles cut its deficit to six points before the end of the quarter and trailed 52-46 heading into the locker room.

Garnett and Fisher scored 14 apiece to lead all players at the break. Hudson added 12 for the Timberwolves, who shot almost 53 percent from the floor in the first half. Bryant added 10 for LA, but the Lakers made just 41 percent of their shots.

Game Notes

With the victory, the Wolves are still just 7-18 in the playoffs over the last six years...The Lakers are down 2-1 in a playoff series for the first time under head coach Phil Jackson...Los Angeles lost two games in a row during the 2000 playoffs against Portland...The Lakers lost for the first time at home in 16 games, dating back to the regular season.

04/25 03:24:24 ET

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