Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Wednesday, November 9th
Game 2: Friday, December 2nd
Game 3: Saturday, December 10th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 15th

Timberwolves 113

(8-6, 2-4 away)

Lakers 108

(6-9, 3-5 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    7:30 PM ET, December 2, 2005

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 24 21 29 39113
    LAL 28 32 22 26108

    Top Performers

    Min: K. Garnett 29 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    LAL: K. Bryant 20 Pts, 9 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Szczerbiak, KG key Wolves win over Lakers

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Lakers blew a big lead for the second straight game. This time they didn't win.

    Wally Szczerbiak scored 34 points, Kevin Garnett added 29, and the Northwest Division-leading Minnesota Timberwolves rallied for a 113-108 victory Friday night over Los Angeles.

    Troy Hudson's shooting brought the Wolves back in the second half and he finished with 18.

    "Seems like we have to be smacked upside the head before we start scoring," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "We've got to start the game the way we finished."

    Lamar Odom led five Lakers in double figures with 24 points. Smush Parker added 22, Kobe Bryant 20, Brian Cook 19 and Luke Walton 10.

    "I told the players this was about as good a game as we've played offensively," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Unfortunately, defensively we couldn't stop the Timberwolves. They were on fire."

    The Lakers, last in the Pacific Division, led much of the way -- including 18 points in the first half -- until the Wolves outscored them 28-16 to end the game. They blew a 14-point lead at Utah on Thursday night.

    "When you hit 10 shots in a row down the stretch, you are going to be hard to beat," Parker said. "They step up with big plays when they need to. It was a tough night for us."

    After taking at least 26 shots in his previous five games, Bryant only took 16. He had nine rebounds and a season-high eight assists, but getting his teammates more involved didn't help down the stretch.

    "It's not an easy offense to learn for so many young players, so it's important to be patient," Bryant said. "Phil and my tolerance for patience is pretty much the same, so I don't think we're in the same boat right now. We have to be patient. That's the only way that we can improve, and we know that."

    The Wolves scored seven in a row, capped by Garnett's turnaround jumper that tied the game at 92 with 5:43 remaining. At the same time, Bryant missed a 21-footer, Walton missed and then Bryant turned the ball over on a bad pass.

    Szczerbiak continued Minnesota's run with a 20-foot jumper that gave the Wolves their first lead since the opening quarter.

    "We kept the second-chance points to a minimum and never looked back," Garnett said.

    Odom dunked to tie it at 94, then Garnett made a layup before Parker's driving layup pulled the Lakers into another tie at 96 with 4:21 to go.

    Minnesota dominated the final four minutes with consistent offense. Trenton Hassell hit a 3-pointer, Garnett scored over Chris Mihm and hit a jumper, Marko Jaric made a 3-pointer, Szczerbiak hit two free throws, and Jaric made another 3 to overwhelm the Lakers.

    "Everything came together. Making shots became contagious," Szczerbiak said. "We just needed a major mojo change. We got to learn from this win and build on it."

    Hudson and Szczerbiak combined on a 15-6 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to cut the Wolves' deficit to 86-82 with 9:13 remaining. Hudson's reverse layup opened the fourth, then Szczerbiak hit consecutive 3-pointers.

    The Wolves closed within 10 points three times in the third, the last time on a 3-pointer by Hudson. He keyed their final possession by passing to Szczerbiak for a basket with two seconds left that had them trailing 82-74 going into the final 12 minutes.

    The Lakers outscored the Wolves 32-21 in the second quarter to lead 60-45 at halftime. The Lakers widened the gap with a 16-7 run in the second, with Cook scoring six in a row.

    Cook, Parker and Bryant carried the Lakers in the first half, with each scoring in double figures.

    Game notes

    The Lakers are 0-2 against the Wolves, having lost by 14 points in the first meeting. ... Los Angeles fell to 0-3 in the second game of back-to-backs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 113 108
    FGM-FGA 42-76 (.553) 44-81 (.543)
    3PM-3PA 11-17 (.647) 7-17 (.412)
    FTM-FTA 18-21 (.857) 13-15 (.867)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-22 15-37
    Assists 21 27
    Turnovers 9 16
    Steals 7 6
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 4 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 22 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 10 18

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 29
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Kobe Bryant Bryant
    Points: 20
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1