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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     MINNESOTA        24   22   19   33    98   
     NEW YORK         24   18   22   28    92      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   MIN - LATRELL SPREWELL 31, SAM CASSELL 31, 
                      KEVIN GARNETT 22
                NYK - ALLAN HOUSTON 26, KEITH VAN HORN 20, 
                      KURT THOMAS 16

HIGH REBOUND:   MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 13, OLIVER MILLER 6, ERVIN
                      JOHNSON 4
                NYK - KURT THOMAS 9, DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 8, KEITH 
                      VAN HORN 7

HIGH ASSISTS:   MIN - SAM CASSELL 5, OLIVER MILLER 4, KEVIN 
                      GARNETT 3
                NYK - HOWARD EISLEY 7, CHARLIE WARD 4, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 3

         ATT:   19,763

Box Score

MINNESOTA (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Garnett 39 9-19 4-4 2-13 3 2 22 L Sprewell 42 9-20 12-14 0-3 1 1 31 E Johnson 9 0-0 0-0 0-4 0 2 0 S Cassell 31 14-19 2-3 1-2 5 5 31 T Hassell 29 1-6 0-0 0-1 0 3 2 O Miller 29 2-3 1-2 2-6 4 2 5 T Hudson 10 0-2 2-2 0-0 0 1 2 F Hoiberg 24 0-1 2-4 0-1 1 3 2 G Trent 10 0-4 3-4 2-2 1 2 3 M Madsen 8 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 1 0 K Mcleod 9 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 N Ebi DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-74 26-33 8-35 15 22 98 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.473, FT-.788. 3-Point Goals: 2-3, .667 (L Sprewell 1-1, S Cassell 1-1, T Hudson 0-1). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:1 (K Garnett). Turnovers:7 (L Sprewell 2, S Cassell 2, K Garnett 2, O Miller). Steals: 10 (K Garnett 4, O Miller 2, L Sprewell 2, S Cassell, F Hoiberg). NEW YORK (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp A McDyess 9 0-2 0-0 1-3 1 2 0 K Van Horn 38 5-15 10-10 4-7 1 3 20 D Mutombo 25 1-5 0-0 4-8 1 0 2 H Eisley 23 2-9 0-0 2-5 7 4 4 A Houston 39 8-17 6-7 0-2 1 4 26 K Thomas 40 8-15 0-0 4-9 3 5 16 M Doleac 12 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 0 2 S Anderson 19 2-6 4-4 3-5 1 3 8 C Ward 20 3-5 0-0 0-5 4 2 8 F Williams 15 2-4 2-2 0-1 3 1 6 C Weatherspoon DNP - COACH'S DECISION O Harrington DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-80 22-23 19-47 23 24 92 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.400, FT-.957. 3-Point Goals: 6-18, .333 (K Van Horn 0-3, H Eisley 0-4, A Houston 4-5, S Anderson 0-3, C Ward 2-3). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:5 (D Mutombo 2, K Van Horn, M Doleac, F Williams). Turnovers:13 (C Ward 3, A Houston 3, K Van Horn 2, A McDyess, F Williams, S Anderson, K Thomas, D Mutombo). Steals: 5 (K Van Horn 2, C Ward, D Mutombo, H Eisley). ------------------------------------------- MINNESOTA 24 22 19 33 - 98 NEW YORK 24 18 22 28 - 92 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Minnesota - 2 (E Johnson, 7:09 3rd; L Sprewell, 0:30 4th). New York - 2 (Defensive Three, 5:46 1st; D Mutombo, 7:09 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,763. T: 2:14. Officials: Dan Crawford, Tony Brothers, Zak Zarba.


Extended Box

MINNESOTA (98) AT NEW YORK (92) MINNESOTA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === K GARNETT F 39 9-19 4-4 2 11 13 3 2 4 2 22 L SPREWELL F 42 9-20 12-14 0 3 3 1 1 2 2 31 E JOHNSON C 9 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 0 2 0 0 0 S CASSELL G 31 14-19 2-3 1 1 2 5 5 1 2 31 T HASSELL G 29 1-6 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 0 0 2 O MILLER 29 2-3 1-2 2 4 6 4 2 2 1 5 T HUDSON 10 0-2 2-2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 F HOIBERG 24 0-1 2-4 0 1 1 1 3 1 0 2 G TRENT 10 0-4 3-4 2 0 2 1 2 0 0 3 M MADSEN 8 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 K MCLEOD 9 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 N EBI DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 35-74 26-33 8 27 35 15 22 10 7 98 (.473) (.788) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 7 (9 PTS) NEW YORK REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === A MCDYESS F 9 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 1 2 0 1 0 K VAN HORN F 38 5-15 10-10 4 3 7 1 3 2 2 20 D MUTOMBO C 25 1-5 0-0 4 4 8 1 0 1 1 2 H EISLEY G 23 2-9 0-0 2 3 5 7 4 1 0 4 A HOUSTON G 39 8-17 6-7 0 2 2 1 4 0 3 26 K THOMAS 40 8-15 0-0 4 5 9 3 5 0 1 16 M DOLEAC 12 1-2 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 2 S ANDERSON 19 2-6 4-4 3 2 5 1 3 0 1 8 C WARD 20 3-5 0-0 0 5 5 4 2 1 3 8 F WILLIAMS 15 2-4 2-2 0 1 1 3 1 0 1 6 C WEATHERSPOON DNP - COACH'S DECISION O HARRINGTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 32-80 22-23 19 28 47 23 24 5 13 92 (.400) (.957) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 13 (22 PTS) MINNESOTA 24 22 19 33 - 98 NEW YORK 24 18 22 28 - 92 BLOCKED SHOTS: MINNESOTA - K GARNETT. NEW YORK - D MUTOMBO 2, K VAN HORN, M DOLEAC, F WILLIAMS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MINNESOTA 2-3 (.667), L SPREWELL 1-1, S CASSELL 1- 1, T HUDSON 0-1. NEW YORK 6-18 (.333), K VAN HORN 0-3, H EISLEY 0- 4, A HOUSTON 4-5, S ANDERSON 0-3, C WARD 2-3. TECHNICAL FOULS: MINNESOTA - E JOHNSON, L SPREWELL. NEW YORK - DEFENSIVE THREE, D MUTOMBO. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, TONY BROTHERS, ZAK ZARBA. A - 19,763. T - 2:14.


Game Story

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Latrell Sprewell turned his return to Madison Square Garden into a game of show and tell. Sprewell showed his former team how much it misses him with 31 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 1:14 to play that lifted the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 98-92 victory over the New York Knicks. Sprewell also spent most of the game telling anyone who would listen how much the reeling Knicks miss his energy, enthusiasm and offense. It started in the first quarter, with invectives hurled at Knicks owner James Dolan in his courtside seat. It continued in the final period, when he had some choice words for Knicks assistant coach Lon Kruger. "The stuff that I was doing is just the way that I play," said a smiling Sprewell, one of the NBA's biggest trash-talkers. "You guys have seen that when I was here. So don't be upset now that I'm on the opposing side giving it to you guys." Sprewell kept giving it until he was whistled for a taunting technical with 30 seconds to go that didn't seem to bother anyone except Minnesota coach Flip Saunders. "He just tried to keep me calm, tell me to cool down," Sprewell said. "I was pretty hyped by that point." "Flip had a heart attack," said Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, who had 22 points, 13 rebounds and four steals. "But ... that's what's gonna make Spree Spree. He's high octane. You gotta let him outta the bag." Sent packing by the Knicks this summer in a four-team trade that netted the quiet Keith Van Horn, Sprewell made 9-of-20 shots and 12-of-14 free throws as he had the sellout crowd of 19,763 cheering for him. It was the most points in a Madison Square Garden return by any player who spent at least five years with the Knicks since the club's last championship in 1973. Despite Sprewell's outburst - and another 31 points from Knicks-killer Sam Cassell - the Wolves were trailing, 89-87, with 2:46 left after two free throws by Shandon Anderson, who scored all eight of his points in the fourth quarter. Garnett went inside for a pair of hoops, giving Minnesota the lead for good. Cassell missed a jumper, but Garnett rebounded and got the ball to Sprewell, who sank a dagger 3-pointer from the right wing, then bopped into the backcourt, seeking out Dolan and letting him have a few choice words. "I heard he told their players that they better win tonight," Sprewell said. "I got a little inside scoop on that. I relayed that to my guys and let 'em know that if he's gonna do stuff like that, we're gonna come out and play hard." "When he's emotional, he's at his best," Cassell said. As Cassell split a pair of free throws with 38 seconds remaining to push the lead to 95-89, Sprewell let loose on the Knicks' bench, specifically Kruger. "He knows what I said to him," Sprewell said. "We'll leave it at that." Sprewell was still talking as Frank Williams drove for a layup. When Allan Houston made the technical foul shot, it was a one-possession game with 30 seconds left. But Cassell, who made 14-of-19 shots, took care of that with a clinching 3-pointer. Minnesota matched a team record with its sixth straight road win. It also won six in a row on the road from January 8-25, 2000 and will have a chance to break the mark Friday in Portland. The Knicks, who fired president Scott Layden on Monday and replaced him with Isiah Thomas, have lost nine of their last 12 games. It was Layden - reportedly on Dolan's orders - who traded Sprewell. "He didn't like the way the situation went down," Cassell said. "They portrayed him as a bad guy." A smattering of boos for Sprewell were drowned out by a standing ovation during pregame introductions. He missed his first two shots but sank a tough floater as he was fouled and was off and running. "That got me going early, just to know that they appreciate me and what I did here," said Sprewell, who helped the Knicks reach the 1999 NBA Finals. "It felt good." "There was definitely a buzz in the air and the level of excitement was in the Garden tonight," said Van Horn, who scored 20 points. Sprewell scored 13 points in the first half, twice barking expletives in Dolan's direction after fast-break baskets. He had a quiet third quarter but came alive again in the final period as his three-point play and four free throws helped Minnesota build a 78-71 lead with 8:11 to play. A pair of baskets by Anderson pulled the Knicks into an 83-83 tie with 4:46 left. A basket by Garnett and two free throws by Sprewell made it 87-83, but two free throws and a jumper by Houston tied it again at the 3:24 mark. "You know there is a buzz around the game, but that wants you to win more," said Houston, who scored 26 points while matched up with Sprewell for most of the game. "It's disappointing that we didn't."


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