Minnesota 97, L.A. Lakers 84
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30 (Ticker) -- Latrell Sprewell
handled the third quarter. Sam Cassell
took care of the final period.
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Sprewell and Cassell combined for 63 points and took turns dominating the second half as the Minnesota Timberwolves stormed to a 97-84 victory over the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers.
Sprewell scored 35 points on 12-of-21 shooting and has 65 points in two games against the Lakers this season. He scored 19 points in the third quarter, when Minnesota erased a 12-point deficit.
In a 13½-minute stretch from late in the second quarter through the end of the third period, Sprewell scored 26 points -- as many as the Lakers.
"We came in the locker room (at halftime) and got on each other," Sprewell said.
"Spree got going in the third quarter and made the shots we know he can make," Cassell said.
In the fourth quarter, control of the offense shifted to Cassell, who made another strong case for his inclusion on the Western Conference All-Star team. He scored 16 of his 28 points in the final 12 minutes.
"We can correct ourselves," Cassell said. "Coach (Flip Saunders) doesn't have to say a lot to us. He just said, 'This is (garbage).'"
Cassell worked over Gary Payton
, one of the best defenders in the NBA. A frustrated Payton was ejected in the final seconds.
had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Garnett won on the Lakers' home floor for just the second time in 16 career regular-season games.
Garnett, Sprewell and Cassell shot a combined 31-of-59 and accounted for all but 14 of Minnesota's points.
"They just got hot, a lot of quick points," said Lakers guard Kareem Rush
, who could not contain Sprewell. "They're not going to ever shoot like that ever again, I don't think."
One game after getting back superstar centerShaquille O'Neal
and Rick Fox
from injuries, the Lakers placed Kobe Bryant
on the injured list. Bryant suffered a cut on his finger that needed nine stitches to close.
O'Neal had 22 points and nine rebounds and Rush started for Bryant and scored 17 points. But the Lakers were outscored 62-40 in the second half.
"What an awful second half," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "That one's tough to live with, both on defense and
"It's time for us to put together a solid 48-minute game and try to get back on track," O'Neal said.
Sprewell made a running, double-pump 38-footer to close the first half and cut the deficit to 44-35. His awesome third quarter gave Minnesota a 63-59 lead before L.A. recovered for a 66-64 edge entering the final period.
"Once we started moving the basketball, we got guys open shots," Saunders said.
After hitting four jumpers to help the Wolves take the lead for good, Cassell sank six free throws to keep the Lakers at bay. He has made 44 straight foul shots.
Former Laker Mark Madsen
went over the 7-2 O'Neal's back and made a remarkable tip-in to give Minnesota an 88-80 lead with 3:20 to go. Sprewell followed with two free throws for a double-digit lead.