Final

Los Angeles wins series 4-2 (Game 5 of 6)

Los Angeles wins series 4-2

Game 1: Friday, May 21st
Lakers97Final
Timberwolves88
Game 2: Sunday, May 23rd
Lakers71Final
Timberwolves89
Game 3: Tuesday, May 25th
Timberwolves89Final
Lakers100
Game 4: Thursday, May 27th
Timberwolves85Final
Lakers92
Game 5: Saturday, May 29th
Lakers96Final
Timberwolves98
Game 6: Monday, May 31st
Timberwolves90Final
Lakers96

Lakers 96

(56-26, 22-19 away)

7:30 PM ET, May 29, 2004

Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 21 19 23 3396
MIN 14 32 27 2598

Top Performers

Los Angeles: K. Bryant 23 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

Minnesota: K. Garnett 30 Pts, 19 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

LA Lakers at Minnesota 8:30 pm EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves face elimination in the postseason for the second time on Saturday when they host the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the Western Conference finals.

Minnesota has its season on the line for the second time. The Timberwolves held on for an 83-80 victory over Sacramento on May 19 in Game Seven of the Western Conference semifinals.

Los Angeles is seeking to advance to the NBA Finals for the fourth time in five years. The Lakers have won seven of their last eight games after a 92-85 victory in GAme Four on Thursday.

Kobe Bryant scored 31 points to lead Los Angeles and Shaquille O'Neal collected 19 and 19 rebounds. Latrell Sprewell struggled to make 4-of-18 shots for 12 points for Minnesota.

MEANINGFUL MATCHUP:

Kobe Bryant vs. Latrell Sprewell. Bryant continues to establish himself as the game's best talent, mostly at Sprewell's expense. Bryant has been especially lethal in the second half, scoring a total of 44 points after the break in the last two games. Sprewell has done his best to stop Bryant, but it has not been nearly enough.

WHO'S HOT:

Lakers: Shaquille O'Neal is averaging 20.5 points and 17.5 rebounds in this series. But perhaps the best indicator of his dominance is the amount of free throws he has attempted. O'Neal has taken 62 foul shots, including 37 in the last two games.

Timberwolves: F Wally Szczerbiak is averaging 18.7 points over his last three games to bounce back from a nine-point effort in Game One. Szczerbiak has provided necessary punch off the bench and has taken minutes away from starter Trenton Hassell.

WHO'S NOT:

Lakers: F Slava Medvedenko can occasionally be counted for instant offense, but not in this series. Medvedenko has just 10 points through four games.

Timberwolves: Hassell has seen his minutes diminish with the emergence of Szczerbiak as a better scorer. This wouldn't happen if Hassell - a noted defender - had any amount of success containing Bryant.

STREAKS: The Lakers have won 12 straight games when they have an opportunity to close out a series. Their last loss in that situation was in Game Five of the 2000 NBA Finals against the Indiana Pacers.

SEASON SERIES & HISTORY: Minnesota won three of four regular-season meetings with Los Angeles, including both games at the Target Center. The Lakers beat the Timberwolves in six games in the first round of the 2003 playoffs.

INJURIES:

Lakers: None.

Timberwolves: None.

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