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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
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
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
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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