MINNEAPOLIS, May 5 (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett
received a rude reminder
from the Sacramento Kings that the MVP is a regular-season
The Kings clamped down on Garnett and rode 33 points and clutch
play from Mike Bibby
to a spirited 104-98 victory over the
Minnesota Timberwolves in the opener of their Western Conference
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Mike Bibby and the Kings held off Sam Cassell's Wolves in Game 1.
On Monday, Garnett was announced as the overwhelming winner of
the NBA MVP. In a pregame ceremony on the Target Center court,
the slender 7-foot superstar was presented with the Maurice
Podoloff Trophy by NBA commissioner David Stern.
Garnett hoisted the trophy, invited his teammates onto the floor
and thanked team owner Glen Taylor, his family and the fans. He
then received an unceremonious welcome to the second round by
the playoff-tested Kings, who won a road game for the seventh
"I am not really a flashy guy," Garnett said. "I am not a
lights, camera, action guy. It kind of disrupted my routine. I
knew what was scheduled ahead of time, so I don't have an
"Off the court, we applaud him," Kings center Vlade Divac
"On the court, it's a different story."
Sacramento swarmed Garnett with double-teams, even on some
occasions when he did not have the ball. He tried to play
through it but made just 6-of-21 shots while committing six
"In the regular season, they didn't trap me as much as they did
tonight," Garnett said. "That was their major adjustment. Now
we have to make our major adjustment."
At the other end, Bibby was torching the Timberwolves with
3-pointers and dribble drives. He scored 14 points in the first
quarter to set a tone but saved his best for the stretch.
"He really got us going," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "He
made the shots that quieted the crowd and picked our guys up."
With the Kings clinging to an 87-86 lead, Bibby tipped in his
own miss, then added two free throws. He worked a pick-and-roll
to perfection, finding Chris Webber
for an open jumper and a
93-86 advantage with 2:18 to go.
"That's what was working," said Bibby, who made 10-of-21 shots
and added seven assists and seven rebounds. "I wanted to get in
the key and make something happen - if not for me, for someone
Top-seeded Minnesota stayed in it with a flurry of 3-pointers by
, who scored 40 points for the second time this
postseason. Off another pick-and-roll, Bibby found Doug Christie
for a 3-pointer and a 98-92 lead with 49 seconds left.
Game 2 is here Saturday.
"We know it is going to be tough," Bibby said. "We know that KG
is an animal and he is going to come out and try to make sure
this doesn't happen again."
Garnett had 16 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists. Teammate
made just 2-of-14 shots and scored five points.
The Kings used just seven players and all but one scored in
double figures. Webber scored 15 points, Divac and Peja Stojakovic
added 14 each and Christie and Brad Miller
apiece, with Miller grabbing 10 rebounds.
Bibby's quick start gave Sacramento a 34-27 lead after one
period. After a sketchy start, Garnett found a rhythm and
helped Minnesota close to 48-47 at halftime.
A banker by Garnett and a layup by Fred Hoiberg
gave the Wolves
their last lead at 79-77 with 10:06 left. But Garnett did not
make another basket, and a reverse layup by Bibby gave the Kings
the lead for good at 85-83 with 4:03 remaining.
"We played like crap and still had a chance to win," Garnett
said. "If we had our offense a little we certainly would have
had a chance."