Final

Minnesota wins series 4-3 (Game 2 of 7)

Minnesota wins series 4-3

Game 1: Tuesday, May 4th
Kings104Final
Timberwolves98
Game 2: Saturday, May 8th
Kings89Final
Timberwolves94
Game 3: Monday, May 10th
Timberwolves114Final
OT
Kings113
Game 4: Wednesday, May 12th
Timberwolves81Final
Kings87
Game 5: Friday, May 14th
Kings74Final
Timberwolves86
Game 6: Sunday, May 16th
Timberwolves87Final
Kings104
Game 7: Wednesday, May 19th
Kings80Final
Timberwolves83

Kings 89

(55-27, 21-20 away)

8:30 PM ET, May 8, 2004

Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
SAC 12 27 31 1989
MIN 17 32 24 2194

Top Performers

Sac: P. Stojakovic 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Stl

Min: K. Garnett 28 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 6 Blk

Level series goes west to Arco on Monday

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- With four minutes remaining, the Minnesota Timberwolves faced a 10-point deficit and the prospect of leaving their homecourt down 0-2 in the Western Conference semifinals.

Then Sam Cassell made his usual clutch shots, and the Sacramento Kings self-destructed.

Cassell scored eight points in the final three minutes, Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 11 rebounds and the Timberwolves closed with a 16-1 run to beat the Kings 94-89 on Saturday.

"If we had lost this one," Cassell said, "it would've been a long night."

Game 3 is Monday night at raucous Arco Arena, where Minnesota was the only visitor this season to win twice. The Kings, though, have won eight of their last nine playoff games at home and are 138-26 there during the last four regular seasons.

That's why winning this game was absolutely critical to the top-seeded Timberwolves' chance of winning this series.

"This was a game we definitely should've had, but we gave it away," said Mike Bibby, who went from 69 points in his previous two games to just 10 points in this one.

Peja Stojakovic had 26 points and seven rebounds for Sacramento, which used a 16-2 spurt to go up 88-78 on Doug Christie's layup with 4:11 left after trailing the majority of the game.

But the Kings started rushing their offense, and suddenly Christie became their primary option with Bibby and leading-scorer Stojakovic just watching the disintegration.

"We had good looks, you know?" coach Rick Adelman said. "I thought we could've been a little more patient. We were trying to attack them so fast."

It wouldn't have mattered if they took care of things on the other end. After playing a commendable defensive game, Sacramento couldn't make any stops.

"You've got to play 48 minutes," Christie said.

Cassell, who was quiet for most of the game after scoring 40 points in the Game 1 loss, scored 19 points and was squarely behind the rally.

His jumper in the lane with 2:08 left pulled the Wolves to 88-87. Garnett, fouled by Brad Miller on a loose-ball scramble that knocked over referee Sean Corbin, made two free throws to give Minnesota the lead with 1:45 remaining.

"This was about sheer will and determination," Garnett said. "We'd been down to this team before. We feel if you keep digging and keep digging, you'll get back in the game. ... You don't want to be down 2-0 to this type of team. This team has a lot of firepower."

Christie, who had 15 points, missed a pair of foul shots on the other end, and Cassell knocked down a corner jumper with 24.6 seconds to go to make it 91-88.

"I just tried to get us a good look," Cassell said. "I know they were pounding on Kevin all night."

Christie's pressured 3-pointer from the corner, which would've tied the game, fell short with 10 seconds remaining.

Chris Webber had 21 points for the Kings and Brad Miller had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Bibby shot 4-for-17 while being hounded much of the night by Latrell Sprewell.

Sprewell also contributed 15 points, and Fred Hoiberg added 13. With Minnesota leading by three, Hoiberg grabbed Sprewell's second missed foul shot with 9.1 seconds left and made two free throws of his own to seal the win.

The Kings led the league in field goal percentage this season, but their first-half shooting (34 percent) suggested otherwise. Webber was 3-for-11, Stojakovic went 3-for-10 and Bibby missed four of five.

Sacramento surged back midway through the third quarter, though, as Stojakovic started to hit. Bibby found a brief groove at the start of the fourth, and the Kings began the period with eight straight points to take their first lead since 6-4.

With Garnett on the bench, the Wolves went scoreless for the first 5{ minutes of the fourth until Cassell's jumper got them going and cut Sacramento's advantage to 78-75 with 6:29 remaining.

Garnett and Sprewell played closer to their usual selves after low-impact performances in Game 1. Though Webber had him well-defended in the lane, Garnett found the right times to move out to the baseline where his jumper was working well.

Sprewell, who went 2-for-14 in the opener, rediscovered his effective mix of perimeter shots and slashes to the hoop.

Hoiberg, with 11 points, was the first-half highlight. He sank three 3-pointers and turned a steal into a fast-break layup over a span of less than seven minutes in the second quarter as Minnesota built a 14-point lead, its biggest of the game.

Game notes


Stojakovic has made 64 consecutive free throws. ... Seldom-used Gary Trent had two points in 13 minutes for Minnesota. He knocked over four fans sitting courtside on a diving attempt to save a loose ball. ... Sacramento super-sub Bobby Jackson participated in the morning shootaround. He's still bothered by a slight abdominal tear, though, and is unsure when he can play again.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SAC
MIN
Points 89 94
FGM-FGA 32-87 (.368) 34-77 (.442)
3PM-3PA 3-11 (.273) 6-13 (.462)
FTM-FTA 22-27 (.815) 20-28 (.714)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-40 6-45
Assists 25 21
Turnovers 7 11
Steals 8 4
Blocks 4 10
Fast Break Points 5 4
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 22 (2/0)

Top Performers

Sacramento
Minnesota
Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
Points: 26
Reb: 7
Ast: 0
Stl: 3
Blk: 0
Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 28
Reb: 11
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 6