Final / OT

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

Minnesota wins series 4-3

Game 1: Tuesday, May 4th
Game 2: Saturday, May 8th
Game 3: Monday, May 10th
Game 4: Wednesday, May 12th
Game 5: Friday, May 14th
Game 6: Sunday, May 16th
Game 7: Wednesday, May 19th

Kings 113

(55-27, 34-7 home)

7:30 PM ET, May 10, 2004

Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

1 2 3 4 OT T
MIN 22 24 33 25 10114
SAC 18 28 23 35 9113

Top Performers

Min: K. Garnett 30 Pts, 15 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 5 Blk

Sac: D. Christie 24 Pts, 12 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

Garnett scores 15 of his 30 in fourth and OT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Kevin Garnett knows the formula: MVP awards are won in the regular season, and superstars are born only in the playoffs.

And when Garnett added the first landmark postseason performance to his resume, The Kid capped it with a man-sized shot. His star continues to rise -- and the Minnesota Timberwolves are enjoying the ride.

Garnett scored 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, including a fallaway jumper to beat the shot clock with 10.8 seconds left in the Timberwolves' 114-113 victory over the Kings in Game 3 of the second-round playoff series Monday night.

With several clutch baskets in a thrilling duel with Peja Stojakovic, Garnett saved Minnesota from disaster. The Timberwolves blew a 14-point lead in the final four minutes of regulation, with Stojakovic tying it on a 3-pointer with 10.7 seconds left.

But when the Wolves had a one-point lead, a dwindling shot clock and a world of pressure in overtime, Garnett was strong enough to shoulder it. He calmly glanced at the opposite shot clock, moved and jumped backward, releasing a soft jumper that bounced in.

"That's what everybody wants you to do," Garnett said. "I'm in a position where I have to make decisions, like a point guard. If you make it, you're a hero. If you miss it, everybody hates you.

"But I've got a strong back and a strong spine, and I've got full confidence in my teammates."

When Stojakovic's final shot fell well short, Garnett also led the Timberwolves' joyous charge off the court. Sacramento coach Rick Adelman irately confronted the officials and fans threw dozens of giveaway plastic rattles on the court to protest the lack of a foul call.

With their third victory this season at Arco Arena, the Timberwolves took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Sacramento, where the Kings lost for just the second time in 10 playoff games.

Led by a sensational finish for Stojakovic, who scored 22 of his 29 points after the third quarter, the Kings erased a 14-point deficit in the final four minutes of regulation, then forced OT by swarming Garnett at the buzzer. The comeback even bested Minnesota's rally from a 10-point deficit in Game 2.

Stojakovic traded scores with Garnett in an unbearably tense overtime. But after Latrell Sprewell hit a jumper with 59 seconds left to claim a one-point lead for Minnesota, Chris Webber made a turnover to set up Garnett's big shot.

"That's why he's the MVP," Sam Cassell said. "I keep telling him, 'Kevin, you amaze me sometimes.' "

Stojakovic hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds left, and Garnett was called for traveling two seconds later. Sacramento got the ball to Stojakovic, but he failed to draw a foul from Trenton Hassell on an awkward jumper shortly before time expired.

"We knew they would go to him," Hassell said. "He jumped into me. You don't want to foul a jump shooter."

"I just think a guy gets that close to a shooter at the end of a game and forces him to change his shot and gets a body on him, it should be a foul," Adelman said. "I feel bad for Peja, because he deserved more respect than that."

Extra time is nothing new to these clubs: Earlier in the season, the teams set an NBA record with their fourth consecutive overtime game.

Garnett also grabbed 15 rebounds, while Sprewell had 25 points and nine rebounds. Fred Hoiberg hit four 3-pointers, and Hassell scored 16 points.

But the game boiled down to a thrilling duel between All-Stars, and Garnett was slightly better.

Sacramento went up by a point on another 3-pointer by Stojakovic with 1:46 left in overtime, but Garnett made two free throws. Stojakovic followed with a layup -- but he finally blinked, missing a free throw that would have given Sacramento a two-point lead.

"It's over. I missed it. We lost the game," said Stojakovic, whose streak of 66 consecutive free throws had been snapped in the first quarter.

Doug Christie had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, and Mike Bibby scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter before fouling out in overtime. Webber had 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting, and he didn't score in OT.

"We should let this hurt the heck out of us tonight," Webber said. "Hopefully the pain will sink in."

Until the final minutes of regulation, Sacramento seemed headed to an embarrassing home loss. Shooting poorly and making 15 turnovers, the Kings fell behind 98-84 when Mark Madsen dunked over two Kings with 4:14 to play. But Bibby and Stojakovic suddenly awoke and the Kings finished regulation with a 20-6 run.

Game notes

Game 2 hero Cassell had just nine points before fouling out with 1:26 left in regulation. ... Cubs 1B Derrek Lee, a Sacramento native, cheered loudly for the Kings while attending the game with his family. Chicago opens a road trip in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 114 113
FGM-FGA 43-93 (.462) 40-91 (.440)
3PM-3PA 6-18 (.333) 8-23 (.348)
FTM-FTA 22-29 (.759) 25-32 (.781)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-43 15-53
Assists 23 27
Turnovers 8 18
Steals 10 5
Blocks 9 4
Fast Break Points 3 6
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (1/0) 24 (1/0)

Top Performers

Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 30
Reb: 15
Ast: 3
Stl: 3
Blk: 5
Doug Christie Christie
Points: 24
Reb: 12
Ast: 4
Stl: 2
Blk: 0