Minnesota 89, L.A. Clippers 85
MINNEAPOLIS, March 27 (Ticker) -- Kevin Garnett
shook out of his shooting
funk when it mattered most.
After making just 3-of-15 shots through the first three
quarters, Garnett scored 13 points in the fourth to lead the
Minnesota Timberwolves to their fourth straight win, an 89-85
victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
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The Timberwolves (37-34) moved within 2 1/2 games of Denver
(38-30) in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in
the Western Conference.
"Garnett is going to play hard for us all of the time,"
Timberwolves guard Fred Hoiberg
said. "His effort is the same
regardless if he just made 10 in a row or missed 10 in a row."
Minnesota plays its next three games on the road against the Los
Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings.
"We have to keep winning to stay in the hunt," said Minnesota's
, who scored 12 off the bench. "We are doing a
good job of that right know."
The road has not been friendly to the Clippers, who slipped to
7-25 away from home.
"On the road we have done a good job of playing good defense,
playing hard and keeping games close," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy
said. "We have to try to find a way to finish them
Los Angeles battled back in this one, erasing a 10-point
fourth-quarter deficit and tying the game at 80-80 on a basket
by Elton Brand
with 3:10 left.
, who scored seven of his 16 points in the fourth
quarter, put the Timberwolves ahead for good with a 3-pointer
with 2:03 left. Garnett then scored inside off a pass from
Cassell with 1:31 remaining and made 1-of-2 free throws with 56
seconds left to increase the lead to 86-80.
"As you can see now, my legs are feeling a little bit better,"
said Cassell, who has been hampered by hamstring problems.
Bobby Simmons responded with a 3-pointer for Los Angeles with 33
seconds remaining and the Clippers had a chance to tie the game
after Hoiberg missed a pair of free throws. But Corey Maggette
missed a 3-pointer from the left corner with five seconds left.
Maggette made just 4-of-18 shots.
"Trenton Hassell did a nice job on Maggette on that last shot
and for most of the game," Timberwolves coach Kevin McHale
"He did the same thing yesterday (Saturday) on Vince Carter
before that on Tracy McGrady
. He does a tremendous job for
Garnett converted a pair of free throws and Hoiberg added one in
the final four seconds to seal the win.
"This was a good gut check for us," Hoiberg said. "Earlier in
the year we probably would have lost this game, but tonight we
found a way to win."
Garnett made 5-of-9 shots in the fourth quarter and finished
with 20 points and 13 rebounds for his 61st double-double of the
Brand led the Clippers with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
A 14-0 run in the second quarter helped the Timberwolves open a
45-36 halftime lead. Eddie Griffin scored eight points in the
After making just 5-of-14 shots in Saturday's win at New Jersey,
Garnett was only 3-of-15 after three quarters. But he hit his
first four shots of the fourth quarter, giving Minnesota a 78-68
lead with 6:49 left.
The Clippers went on a 12-2 run over the next 3:39 to tie the