Final / OT
7:30 PM ET, November 13, 2003
United Center, Chicago, IL
CHICAGO (AP) -- After being on the losing end of a couple of close games, Latrell Sprewell is going to savor this victory.
"Whenever you win and are able to knock down shots like that, it just feels good," Sprewell said. "We have been on the other side of games like this, and it just leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. So to actually come out and win one, it means a lot."
But the Timberwolves' enthusiasm was tempered by concern for Bulls guard Jamal Crawford, who was taken to a local hospital as a precaution after landing on the back of his head in the fourth quarter.
Crawford was conscious and able to move and talk after he fell, and Bulls trainer Fred Tedeschi was cautiously optimistic about his prognosis. Crawford was undergoing a battery of tests at Rush Presbyterian to make sure nothing was wrong.
"When something like that happens, you immediately think the worst," said Jalen Rose, Crawford's closest friend on the Bulls. "Fortunately for us and fortunately for Jamal, that didn't happen. ... We did get word he's doing fine."
Sprewell finished with a season-high 27 points, and also had eight rebounds, three steals and two assists. Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who won their ninth straight against the Bulls.
Scottie Pippen had 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Bulls, who dropped to 1-5 at home. Rose added 25 points, but he blew a chance to clinch the victory in regulation.
Fouled by Garnett with 24 seconds left, Rose -- the team's best free throw shooter -- made the first shot to give the Bulls an 82-79 lead. But he missed the second shot, meaning Minnesota only needed a 3.
"I feel like I let the team down," a dejected Rose said. "I had an opportunity to put us up by four. Not saying anything can't happen, but it's unlikely."
Given an opportunity, Sprewell made the most of it, hitting a long 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to tie the game. He did his best to end the game in regulation, too, stealing the ball from Rose with less than a second left.
He took a desperation heave from about halfcourt, but it wasn't even close.
But in overtime, Sprewell got it done. After missing a long 3 with the game tied at 84, he dashed in to grab the rebound and score on a layup.
Kendall Gill tied it with a jumper, but Sprewell answered right back with a 22-footer that put Minnesota ahead 88-86 with less than a minute to play.
Pippen missed a 3-pointer with 24 seconds to play, and the Bulls were forced to foul. Sam Cassell went 4-for-4 from the line, sealing the victory.
"You've got to bring effort," Cassell said. "Only the strong teams survive. They play pretty well, but we're coming along as a team."
The Bulls were playing their second game in as many nights, and the physical play -- there were 55 total fouls -- wore them down. Still, this was a game they could have won.
"We're not playing as well as we need to be playing," Pippen said. "We're going in the right direction. We're losing games right now, but hopefully down the road we can bring things together."
Trailing by as much as 10 in the first half, the Timberwolves came roaring back in the second. Cassell opened the second half with three straight baskets, and then made a running jumper from 18 feet to start a 10-2 run that gave the Timberwolves a 59-57 lead with 4:50 to go in the period.
It was Minnesota's first lead since the first quarter.
After Crawford was hurt midway through the fourth, Fred Hoiberg hit a 3 and Sprewell scored on a layup to give Minnesota a 75-70 lead with 6:06 to play.
But the Bulls rallied. Pippen and Eddy Curry each made a pair of free throws, and Rose drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game at 77 with 3:15 to play.
Minnesota hasn't lost a game to Chicago since April 1998. ... Bulls F Tyson Chandler missed his fourth straight game with a bad back. He could be back for Saturday's game against Seattle. ... Hoiberg was greeted warmly when he came into the game in the first quarter. "I wish them nothing but the best," said Hoiberg, who signed with Minnesota as a free agent after spending the past four seasons in Chicago. "It looks like they're playing a little bit better than they were earlier in the season. I really hope and think this will be the year these guys make the playoffs."
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||38-84 (.452)||31-74 (.419)|
|3PM-3PA||4-15 (.267)||8-15 (.533)|
|FTM-FTA||12-17 (.706)||19-28 (.679)|
|Fast Break Points||4||4|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||25 (3/0)||30 (1/0)|