Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 1/28

Game 1: Friday, January 28th
Game 2: Friday, February 11th
Game 3: Wednesday, April 6th
Game 4: Friday, April 15th

Timberwolves 100

(42-37, 19-21 away)

Jazz 84

(25-54, 17-23 home)

    Coverage: KJZZ

    7:00 PM ET, April 15, 2005

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 22 26 22 30100
    UTAH 27 17 21 1984

    Top Performers

    Min: K. Garnett 22 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    UTAH: K. McLeod 20 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    30-19 fourth quarter does it for Minnesota

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Minnesota's playoff hopes are a little bit less of a long shot.

    The Timberwolves staved off elimination for the second straight game by beating the Utah Jazz 100-84 Friday night, then learned Memphis had lost at Denver to further shrink the margin for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

    Minnesota still needs to win all three of its remaining games and have the Grizzlies lose three straight, but just two days earlier those numbers were five.

    "We've got three games left. We've got to win. Period," said Kevin Garnett, who led Minnesota with 21 points and nine rebounds. "I'm not going to worry and lose what's left of the hair I do have. Everybody is watching and we are definitely aware of the situation."

    Wally Szczerbiak had 17 points and eight rebounds and Fred Hoiberg scored 14 in reserve roles for Minnesota. Hoiberg held the ball for the final seconds before the final horn sounded, and the Wolves dashed off to the locker room waiting to learn they had staved off elimination for the second straight game.

    Minnesota is idle on Saturday while Memphis visits Southwest Division winner San Antonio, but Wolves coach Kevin McHale didn't want to talk about any other teams.

    "Practice tomorrow and play Seattle on Sunday," was McHale's reaction to Memphis' loss.

    The Wolves fell behind by 10 early and overcame a few verbal spats among themselves to beat the Jazz for the third time in four games this season. The Wolves finally broke away in the fourth quarter and outscored Utah 30-19 -- even with Garnett resting on the bench for much of the period.

    "Started out like they were going to get 190 points and then we played a lot better defensively and had a really nice segment there in the second half," McHale said.

    Minnesota also outrebounded Utah 50-40 and made 10 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to clinch it.

    Matt Harpring scored 12, but had just two points after the first quarter. Mehmet Okur and Howard Eisley scored 10 points apiece for Utah.

    Latrell Sprewell hit a jumper to cap an 11-4 run to open the third quarter and gave the Wolves a 59-48 lead. Utah cut it down to two, but couldn't get it any closer.

    "Well, it looked like we were going to make a little bit of a ballgame out of it. We got with it in the first half but in the second half we just totally collapsed," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "We get in our heads that everybody's got to do it on their own and start taking shots without realizing what an offense can do."

    The Wolves led 70-65 entering the fourth and opened the final period with a 14-4 run. Gordan Giricek missed a shot for Utah and Hoiberg broke free for an easy layup to put Minnesota up 78-65, then after a goaltending call gave Utah two points, Hoiberg added a jumper and two free throws to make it 82-69.

    "I think we held our composure a little bit better than we did in the first," Hoiberg said.

    Garnett, who also had a team-high five assists, played just one minute early in the fourth quarter, resting up for Sunday's home game against Seattle. He said he planned on taking his niece and nephew shopping and maybe catch a little of the Grizzlies-Spurs game.

    "I'm sure if I'm flipping channels and I come across them, I'll stop and pause and watch it," Garnett said.

    Game notes

    Minnesota C Michael Olowokandi, who already had a technical foul earlier in the game, got Minnesota its second delay of game when he threw the ball into the air on his way to the bench. Coach Kevin McHale yelled and pointed at Olowokandi as he sat down and cooled off. ... Utah was just 36 for 88 from the floor.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 100 84
    FGM-FGA 36-77 (.468) 36-88 (.409)
    3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 2-8 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 26-31 (.839) 10-12 (.833)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-50 12-40
    Assists 22 19
    Turnovers 9 8
    Steals 4 3
    Blocks 8 2
    Fast Break Points 17 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (3/0) 25 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 18 10

    Top Performers

    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 22
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Keith McLeod McLeod
    Points: 20
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0