Minnesota 107, L.A. Clippers 100 (OT)
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 (Ticker) --
A winning streak had to end when the
Minnesota Timberwolves met the Los Angeles Clippers. Sam Cassell
made sure he was the one with the finishing touch.
Cassell scored a season-high 30 points and fueled the
Timberwolves late in regulation and through overtime as
Minnesota posted a 107-100 victory over Los Angeles.
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"I just play the game of basketball," Cassell said. "I don't put
too much emphasis on what I contribute. Simple game, simple
game if you know how to play it. I don't want to get 30 points,
but 18-19 points and seven or eight assists is a typical night
for Sam Cassell."
The hard-fought win was the Timberwolves' fifth in a row,
completing a 4-0 road trip and ending the Clippers' best winning
streak since 1995 at five games.
The Clippers came back from an early deficit and were game down
the stretch, but Cassell answered repeatedly. He made three
straight baskets in a 2:27 span and found Kevin Garnett for a
short jumper with 26 seconds left that forced overtime.
"You love him and hate him all in the same game, same play,"
Minnesota coach Flip Saunders
said about Cassell. "One thing
about Sam Cassell is that he's not a guy who is afraid to take
big shots. That's one thing we have on this team is guys who
late in the game are not afraid to shoot the ball."
, whose 34 points matched a career high, opened the
scoring in overtime to give Los Angeles the lead. Cassell responded again, hitting back-to-back jumpers.
"Sam is big time," Maggette said. "I think he's one of the best
point guards in the league. I don't think there is any other
player in the league who does the stuff he does. He's a
veteran. He has rings and he knows what to do."
After Eddie Griffin
made a 3-pointer to put Minnesota on top,
99-95, Cassell stole a crosscourt pass and raced the length of
the floor for a damaging layup.
Garnett scored 22 points and grabbed 15 boards and Griffin
finished with 13 and 11 for his first double-double with the
"I've been taking that 3-point shot all my career," Griffin
said. "If I'm open, I feel that's my range and if I'm open I am
going to shoot it. It stretches the defense and opens the
floor up for Kevin (Garnett), so I think it's going to help out."
had 10 points and 10 assists and Mikki Moore
11 and nine rebounds off the bench for the Clippers. However,
forward Elton Brand
, who averaged 27.3 points in his previous
three games, was held to 10.
With Brand struggling, the scoring burden fall directly on
"I just pretty much got rolling when I hit a couple of shots and
good things started happening," Maggette said. "I know I am
capable of doing that stuff. Tonight was a night I felt
comfortable. It just doesn't make a difference, though, because
we lost. I'd take 10 points if we had won the game."
The Clippers have lost eight straight meetings with the
Timberwolves. They fell to 0-3 in overtime games this season.
"We executed well," Maggette said. "But they are a veteran team.
They play well together. When it came down the stretch, Sam
Cassell hit the big shots and ran his team. We had great
opportunities in overtime, but we have to learn through
experience how to close the games out in the end."
"There were some good plays in the second half, but we didn't
make our free throw shots," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy
his team's 22-of-33 effort from the line. "And there were too
many turnovers (20) and we gave a really good team too many
chances to win."