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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- LA LAKERS 27 29 19 22 97 MINNESOTA 26 12 30 20 88 FINAL


Extended Box

LA LAKERS (97) AT MINNESOTA (88)

LA LAKERS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

GREEN F 25 1-4 0-0 1 3 4 0 1 0 0 2 RICE F 35 7-13 8-9 1 4 5 2 2 0 2 23 ONEAL C 46 10-19 4-11 3 10 13 7 3 2 7 24 BRYANT G 44 10-24 8-9 3 4 7 12 5 1 4 28 HARPER G 26 1-4 0-0 0 4 4 3 1 0 1 3 FISHER 26 4-5 1-2 1 2 3 3 0 1 1 11 HORRY 23 1-4 0-0 3 4 7 0 2 2 1 2 FOX 13 1-5 2-2 1 2 3 1 2 1 1 4 SALLEY 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 GEORGE 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CELESTAND DNP - COACH'S DECISION SHAW DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 35-78 23-33 13 33 46 28 16 7 17 97 (.449) (.697) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 17(14 PTS)

MINNESOTA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

K GARNETT F 47 13-22 2-3 7 14 21 5 2 1 3 28 SZCZERBIAK F 36 2-6 0-0 0 2 2 3 3 1 1 4 NESTEROVIC C 36 6-9 0-2 2 3 5 4 5 1 1 12 BRANDON G 44 10-23 2-2 0 2 2 9 2 1 5 22 PEELER G 25 2-8 4-4 0 2 2 6 1 3 1 8 HAMMONDS 11 0-1 0-2 0 0 0 0 5 0 1 0 SEALY 24 3-7 2-2 0 4 4 1 4 0 1 8 MITCHELL 12 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 AVERY 4 1-4 0-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 JACKSON 1 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 PATTERSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION SMITH DNP - UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION

TOTALS 240 39-83 10-17 9 28 37 29 25 8 14 88 (.470) (.588) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 14(11 PTS)

LA LAKERS 27 29 19 22 - 97 MINNESOTA 26 12 30 20 - 88

BLOCKED SHOTS: LA LAKERS - ONEAL 2, HORRY 2. MINNESOTA - BRANDON 2, K GARNETT 2, SZCZERBIAK. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: LA LAKERS 4-12 (.333), RICE 1-2, BRYANT 0-2, HARPER 1-3, FISHER 2-2, HORRY 0-2, FOX 0-1. MINNESOTA 0-7 (.000), K GARNETT 0-1, BRANDON 0-3, PEELER 0-2, JACKSON 0-1. TECHNICALS: MINNESOTA - SEALY. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, TIM DONAGHY, BENNIE ADAMS. A - 19,354. T - 2:12.


Box Score

LA LAKERS (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Green 25 1-4 0-0 1-4 0 1 2 Rice 35 7-13 8-9 1-5 2 2 23 Oneal 46 10-19 4-11 3-13 7 3 24 Bryant 44 10-24 8-9 3-7 12 5 28 Harper 26 1-4 0-0 0-4 3 1 3 Fisher 26 4-5 1-2 1-3 3 0 11 Horry 23 1-4 0-0 3-7 0 2 2 Fox 13 1-5 2-2 1-3 1 2 4 Salley 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 George 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Celestand DNP - coach's decision Shaw DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-78 23-33 13-46 28 16 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.449, FT-.697. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (Rice 1-2, Bryant 0-2, Harper 1-3, Fisher 2-2, Horry 0-2, Fox 0-1). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 4 (Oneal 2, Horry 2). Turnovers: 17 (Oneal 7, Bryant 4, Rice 2, Fisher, Fox, Harper, Horry). Steals: 7 (Horry 2, Oneal 2, Bryant, Fisher, Fox).

MINNESOTA (88) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 47 13-22 2-3 7-21 5 2 28 Szczerbiak 36 2-6 0-0 0-2 3 3 4 Nesterovic 36 6-9 0-2 2-5 4 5 12 Brandon 44 10-23 2-2 0-2 9 2 22 Peeler 25 2-8 4-4 0-2 6 1 8 Hammonds 11 0-1 0-2 0-0 0 5 0 Sealy 24 3-7 2-2 0-4 1 4 8 Mitchell 12 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 2 2 Avery 4 1-4 0-2 0-0 0 0 2 Jackson 1 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 Patterson DNP - coach's decision Smith DNP - upper respiratory infection _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-83 10-17 9-37 29 25 88 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.470, FT-.588. 3-Point Goals: 0-7, .000 (K Garnett 0-1, Brandon 0-3, Peeler 0-2, Jackson 0-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 5 (Brandon 2, K Garnett 2, Szczerbiak). Turnovers: 14 (Brandon 5, K Garnett 3, Hammonds, Mitchell, Nesterovic, Peeler, Sealy, Szczerbiak). Steals: 8 (Peeler 3, Brandon, K Garnett, Mitchell, Nesterovic, Szczerbiak). ____________________________________________ La Lakers 27 29 19 22 - 97 Minnesota 26 12 30 20 - 88 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Minnesota 1 (Sealy, 0:29 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,354. T: 2:12. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Tim Donaghy, Bennie Adams.


Game Story

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett continued to stake his claim as the game's best player. Unfortunately for him, the Los Angeles Lakers have a pair of players vying for that title.

Garnett's 28 points and franchise-record 21 rebounds were not enough to overcome the NBA's hottest tandem as Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant combined to hand the Minnesota Timberwolves their eighth straight loss, carrying the league-leading Lakers to a 97-88 win.

Garnett watched his team fall behind 56-38 at the half, but spearheaded a furious second-half rally that fell short in the final minutes. The 6-11 power forward drained 13-of-22 shots, handed out five assists and blocked two shots in 47 minutes for the Timberwolves, who are in the midst of their longest losing streak since a 10-game skid to end the 1993-94 season.

Minnesota is winless in December, recording its last victory on November 30 against Denver.

"We played hard, getting better, but nothing to show for it -- that's where we're at," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "We've all been there many times before and you can't fall behind a good team and exert so much energy trying to catch up. At the end, our guys were really tired down the stretch."

O'Neal, who earned Player of the Month honors in November, continued to sizzle in the millennium's final month. The 7-1 center bounced back from an uncharacteristic nine-point performance in Thursday's win in Atlanta, with 24 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. He even drained a pair of big free throws down the stretch.

"They were double- and triple-teaming (Kobe and me) and other guys were getting open," O'Neal said. "And they made me look good."

Bryant picked up the slack for O'Neal with 30 points in Atlanta and complemented the big man tonight. The versatile swingman had 28 points, seven boards and a career-high 12 assists for Los Angeles, which has won five in a row 12 of 13 overall and improved the league's best record to 20-5.

"This year, we've been doing a pretty good job of putting teams away," Bryant said. "I feel like we're playing OK basketball. We can play a lot better."

Glen Rice scored 23 points for Los Angeles, which outscored Minnesota, 29-12, in the second quarter to open an 18-point bulge at the half.

"It was one of those games where I came out and shot the ball when I was open," Rice said. "Most of them were going in, that's what I have to continue to keep doing."

But Garnett had six points and eight rebounds in the third quarter and made a layup with 1:31 remaining in the period as the Timberwolves closed to 75-68 entering the fourth quarter.

Garnett had a thunderous slam off an alley-oop pass from rookie Wally Szczerbiak and hit a six-foot jumper to get Minnesota within 88-82 with 3:19 to play, bringing the Target Center fans to their feet.

But Bryant buried a short jumper on the ensuing trip and O'Neal made two free throws after the Timberwolves purposely put him on the line with 1:34 remaining to seal the win.

Terrell Brandon had 22 points and nine assists for the Wolves, who shot 47 percent (39-of-83) and were outrebounded, 46-37.

"Tonight was a tough game to come out and get a win," Brandon said. "They are well-coached and Shaq and Kobe play so hard, especially on national TV."

Derek Fisher scored 11 points off the bench for the Lakers, who shot 45 percent (35-of-78) and outscored Minnesota, 23-10, from the line.

The Lakers have taken three straight meetings with the Wolves.

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