Wolves' Johnson does not start

Updated: May 29, 2004, 9:07 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Timberwolves guard Sam Cassell did not dress for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night because back spasms and an injured hip.

Sam Cassell
Point Guard
Minnesota Timberwolves
Profile
2003-2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
81 19.8 3.3 7.3 .488 .873

Cassell was limited to 43 seconds in Game 2 and five minutes in Game 4. The All-Star point guard hasn't played in the fourth quarter in any game of the series. He was in street clothes on the bench as the Timberwolves faced a 3-1 series deficit.

Darrick Martin started in Cassell's place, and coach Flip Saunders further shook up his starting lineup by replacing center Ervin Johnson with Michael Olowokandi.

Saunders has been dismayed by his centers' dismal offensive production in the series, and nobody has been able to guard Shaquille O'Neal. Johnson had started all of the Timberwolves' previous 16 playoff games, but Olowokandi is Minnesota's most athletic big man.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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