Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Saturday, November 5th
Game 2: Monday, November 7th
Game 3: Tuesday, November 29th
Game 4: Monday, March 13th

Clippers 93

(10-4, 5-3 away)

Timberwolves 84

(7-6, 6-2 home)

7:00 PM ET, November 29, 2005

Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
LAC 22 25 25 2193
MIN 21 23 16 2484

Top Performers

LAC: C. Maggette 30 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Min: K. Garnett 29 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

Double-doubles by Maggette, Brand trump KG's

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevin Garnett could only say one thing after watching Sam Cassell hit two huge shots down the stretch to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"Typical Sam," Garnett said with a shrug.

He would know.

Cassell shook off flu-like symptoms to hit a 3-pointer and a turnaround jumper to stave off a furious rally by his former team and lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 93-84 victory Tuesday night.

The Clippers led by 16 points with 10 minutes to play before Garnett and the Wolves responded with a 14-0 burst.

Garnett's whirling baseline jumper over Chris Kaman pulled the Timberwolves within 78-76 with 5:30 remaining.

The Timberwolves twice cut the gap to two points again before Cassell hit his 3-pointer from the left elbow with 2:45 to play, giving the Clippers a five-point lead that was too much for Minnesota to overcome.

"That was a tough one," said Wally Szczerbiak, whose Timberwolves were coming off an impressive victory in Cleveland. "We were starting to build some momentum and this game we took a little step back."

Corey Maggette led the way with 30 points and 10 rebounds and Elton Brand added 19 points and 13 boards for the Clippers (10-4), who are guaranteed of having the best November in franchise history with one game left in the month.

Garnett had 29 points and 13 rebounds and conducted a clinic in low post moves against third-year pro Kaman, but Garnett's old teammate made sure it wasn't enough.

Cassell, who missed the morning shootaround and did not start the game because he was ill, added one of his patented turnaround jumpers from the post to make the score 89-82 with 45 seconds to play and help the Clippers snap a two-game skid.

"That was tough, I was tore up. I'm not going to lie," Cassell said. "I told (coach Mike Dunleavy) when I came to the arena that I'm going to play. I was real dizzy out there, but this is a game we needed to win. We needed to win this game and we got it."

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Wolves, who traded Cassell to the Clippers in the offseason for Marko Jaric after tiring of his poor attitude.

Cassell sat out the first day of training camp last season, unhappy that he didn't get a contract extension after helping the Timberwolves advance to the Western Conference finals in 2004.

That was the prelude to a monumentally disappointing season for the Timberwolves, who failed to make the playoffs while dealing with bickering from Cassell and Latrell Sprewell, who was also unhappy with his contract status.

Cassell sure seems happy in Los Angeles. He smiled often on Tuesday night and even playfully jumped on Cuttino Mobley's back at halfcourt in the third quarter while the Timberwolves were shooting free throws.

He had good reason to smile after having 13 points and six assists to keep his new team in first place in the Pacific Division.

For the most part, the Timberwolves have been better off without him, too.

They entered the night having won two in a row and four of their last five to move into first place in the Northwest Division, and play harder and better defensively than they did last season.

But Garnett didn't get enough help on this night.

Szczerbiak was just 3-for-9 from the floor for nine points and Troy Hudson scored three points on 1-of-7 shooting. The Timberwolves shot 39 percent from the field against the NBA's best field goal percentage defense.

"I thought Kevin Garnett battled," coach Dwane Casey said. "We need one other guy to step up and give us something. Now we go back to the drawing board and regroup."

Jaric shook off a stiff neck to score 17 points, but the Wolves couldn't come up with the big shot in crunch time when they needed it.

That's when Cassell is at his best.

"The biggest thing is with Sam and Cuttino (Mobley) coming in and just showing the leadership -- that's been helping our team out," Maggette said. "I think they are the biggest keys to our team."

Game notes

Jaric started despite experiencing neck pain and seeing a chiropractor earlier in the day. Coach Dwane Casey considered deactivating him before the game, but Jaric felt good enough to play. ... Garnett received a technical foul in the third quarter for hanging on the rim after an emphatic dunk over Kaman. ... Rookie Daniel Ewing started in place of Cassell.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 93 84
FGM-FGA 40-83 (.482) 31-79 (.392)
3PM-3PA 3-7 (.429) 4-12 (.333)
FTM-FTA 10-17 (.588) 18-26 (.692)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-50 9-45
Assists 22 20
Turnovers 13 11
Steals 6 7
Blocks 8 4
Fast Break Points 8 9
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 18 (1/0)
Largest Lead 16 5

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Corey Maggette Maggette
Points: 30
Reb: 10
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 29
Reb: 13
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 2