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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     MINNESOTA        19   17   21   29    86   
     HOUSTON          15   27   32   20    94      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 25, KENDALL GILL 17, IGOR 
                      RAKOCEVIC 9
                HOU - CUTTINO MOBLEY 19, MAURICE TAYLOR 18, 
                      GLEN RICE 15

HIGH REBOUND:   MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 16, JOE SMITH 8, RADOSLAV 
                      NESTEROVIC 6
                HOU - YAO MING 12, STEVE FRANCIS 7, MAURICE 
                      TAYLOR 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   MIN - TROY HUDSON 6, KEVIN GARNETT 5, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 2
                HOU - STEVE FRANCIS 11, CUTTINO MOBLEY 5, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 3

         ATT:   12,212

Box Score

MINNESOTA (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 44 6-18 12-14 2-16 5 4 25 G Trent 18 2-4 1-2 2-5 0 2 5 R Nesterovic 29 4-9 0-0 3-6 2 4 8 K Gill 33 7-14 1-2 0-3 1 5 17 T Hudson 39 2-12 3-3 1-2 6 1 7 J Smith 26 2-5 2-2 2-8 0 4 6 M Jackson 11 2-6 0-1 0-0 0 2 4 A Peeler 23 2-6 1-2 0-0 2 3 5 I Rakocevic 17 1-4 6-8 1-3 0 1 9 R Strickland DNP - COACH'S DECISION W Szczerbiak DNP - DID NOT DRESS L Woods DNP - SUSPENDED BY TEAM _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-78 26-34 11-43 16 26 86 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.359, FT-.765. 3-Point Goals: 4-10, .400 (K Garnett 1-2, K Gill 2-3, T Hudson 0-2, A Peeler 0-1, I Rakocevic 1-2). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:1 (K Garnett). Turnovers:16 (K Gill 3, T Hudson 3, G Trent 2, I Rakocevic 2, M Jackson 2, J Smith, R Nesterovic, A Peeler, K Garnett). Steals: 11 (K Garnett 5, K Gill 2, T Hudson 2, G Trent, R Nesterovic). HOUSTON (94) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp E Griffin 25 3-5 0-0 0-5 0 2 7 G Rice 26 5-10 1-3 1-2 0 3 15 Y Ming 26 3-10 3-4 2-12 3 2 9 S Francis 33 2-4 10-13 2-7 11 6 14 C Mobley 38 6-13 6-8 0-1 5 1 19 K Cato 22 3-5 1-2 0-4 0 4 7 M Taylor 23 8-13 2-3 2-6 1 3 18 M Norris 25 0-4 0-0 0-1 3 1 0 J Posey 22 2-6 1-2 0-5 0 1 5 T Morris DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Hawkins DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Nachbar DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-70 24-35 7-43 23 23 94 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.457, FT-.686. 3-Point Goals: 6-13, .462 (E Griffin 1-2, G Rice 4-7, C Mobley 1-3, J Posey 0-1). Team Rebounds: 11. Blocked Shots:2 (M Taylor, E Griffin). Turnovers:16 (G Rice 3, M Taylor 3, C Mobley 3, S Francis 3, M Norris 2, Y Ming 2). Steals: 10 (C Mobley 4, J Posey 3, M Norris, M Taylor, K Cato). ------------------------------------------- MINNESOTA 19 17 21 29 - 86 HOUSTON 15 27 32 20 - 94 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Minnesota - 3 (Defensive Three, 7:18 2nd; Defensive Three, 9:17 2nd; K Garnett, 3:50 3rd). Houston - 4 (Defensive Three, 1:52 1st; G Rice, 3:50 3rd; S Francis, 3:34 4th; J Posey, 10:20 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 12,212. T: 2:19. Officials: Derrick Stafford, Michael Smith, Sean Corbin.


Extended Box

MINNESOTA (86) AT HOUSTON (94) MINNESOTA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === K GARNETT F 44 6-18 12-14 2 14 16 5 4 5 1 25 G TRENT F 18 2-4 1-2 2 3 5 0 2 1 2 5 R NESTEROVIC C 29 4-9 0-0 3 3 6 2 4 1 1 8 K GILL G 33 7-14 1-2 0 3 3 1 5 2 3 17 T HUDSON G 39 2-12 3-3 1 1 2 6 1 2 3 7 J SMITH 26 2-5 2-2 2 6 8 0 4 0 1 6 M JACKSON 11 2-6 0-1 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 4 A PEELER 23 2-6 1-2 0 0 0 2 3 0 1 5 I RAKOCEVIC 17 1-4 6-8 1 2 3 0 1 0 2 9 R STRICKLAND DNP - COACH'S DECISION W SZCZERBIAK DNP - DID NOT DRESS L WOODS DNP - SUSPENDED BY TEAM TOTALS 240 28-78 26-34 11 32 43 16 26 11 16 86 (.359) (.765) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 16 (16 PTS) HOUSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === E GRIFFIN F 25 3-5 0-0 0 5 5 0 2 0 0 7 G RICE F 26 5-10 1-3 1 1 2 0 3 0 3 15 Y MING C 26 3-10 3-4 2 10 12 3 2 0 2 9 S FRANCIS G 33 2-4 10-13 2 5 7 11 6 0 3 14 C MOBLEY G 38 6-13 6-8 0 1 1 5 1 4 3 19 K CATO 22 3-5 1-2 0 4 4 0 4 1 0 7 M TAYLOR 23 8-13 2-3 2 4 6 1 3 1 3 18 M NORRIS 25 0-4 0-0 0 1 1 3 1 1 2 0 J POSEY 22 2-6 1-2 0 5 5 0 1 3 0 5 T MORRIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION J HAWKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION B NACHBAR DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 32-70 24-35 7 36 43 23 23 10 16 94 (.457) (.686) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 18 (14 PTS) MINNESOTA 19 17 21 29 - 86 HOUSTON 15 27 32 20 - 94 BLOCKED SHOTS: MINNESOTA - K GARNETT. HOUSTON - M TAYLOR, E GRIFFIN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MINNESOTA 4-10 (.400), K GARNETT 1-2, K GILL 2- 3, T HUDSON 0-2, A PEELER 0-1, I RAKOCEVIC 1-2. HOUSTON 6-13 (.462), E GRIFFIN 1-2, G RICE 4-7, C MOBLEY 1-3, J POSEY 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: MINNESOTA - DEFENSIVE THREE 2, K GARNETT. HOUSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE, G RICE, S FRANCIS, J POSEY. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DERRICK STAFFORD, MICHAEL SMITH, SEAN CORBIN. A - 12,212. T - 2:19.


Game Story

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Until Wally Szczerbiak suits up again for the Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA mascots better look out for Kevin Garnett. Frustrated after his team gave up 19 unanswered points in the second quarter, Garnett pushed the Houston Rockets' mascot out of his way in a lighthearted moment of the Timberwolves' 94-86 setback, their third in four games. The mascot exaggerated a flop onto its back, drawing laughter from the Compaq Center crowd. "I was totally playing," Garnett said. "The only mascot I don't like is that coyote in San Antonio. I was just playing with the mascot here." Szczerbiak, an All-Star last season, has played just four games due to a sprained little toe on his left foot. He was activated from the injured list Monday but did not dress for this contest. "When we do get him back, he will help us stretch out the defense, and that will help out KG," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "I hope we can get him back on the court," Garnett added. "He can help us, but he's not on the court just yet." Minnesota led, 23-15, after Marc Jackson hit a jumper 68 seconds into the second quarter. But the Rockets responded with big contributions from reserves Maurice Taylor and Kelvin Cato, who scored six and five points, respectively, during the run. Cato's alley-oop dunk with 7:49 left in the period gave Houston the lead for good, 24-23, and fellow reserve James Posey capped the burst with a jumper that made it 34-23 with 4:40 left before halftime. "Our defense carried us during that stretch," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "That is what the defense has to be like if you want to win in this league." The Timberwolves went more than six minutes without scoring until Garnett nailed a turnaround jumper with 4:31 to play. "We had great looks," said Minnesota guard Kendall Gill, who scored 17 points. "We just couldn't hit a shot. Unfortunately, that's a tell-tale sign of the game. When you miss jumpers, it gives fast-break opportunities to them." Cuttino Mobley scored 19 points, Taylor a season-high 18 and Glen Rice 15 for the Rockets, who had lost four of their previous six games. Rookie Yao Ming finished with nine points and 12 rebounds. "Today, I especially felt like I did two years ago," said Taylor, who missed last season with an Achilles tendon injury. "I had lateral movement and my legs didn't get fatigued. It's coming." "Mo gave us an offensive lift," Tomjanovich said. "That was what he did for us a couple of years ago." Steve Francis added 14 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds for Houston before fouling out with 3:34 left. The Rockets saw a 20-point lead with 5 1/2 minutes remaining dwindle to six before holding off the Timberwolves down the stretch. Houston is in seventh place in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota. "It was real important," Francis said of the win. "This is a team that we're battling against to make some postseason noise. It's real important to play good against a team like Minnesota, who has been there." Garnett contributed 25 points and 16 rebounds for his league-leading 28th double-double. But the Timberwolves shot just 36 percent (28-of-78). "We should've beat that team," Gill said. "They have a lot of talent, but they're not as good as they can be. In the first half, we were terrible. We couldn't hit any shots."


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