The Timberwolves clinched their 2003 playoff berth on March 31 and claimed the Western Conference's fourth seed with a 95-87 victory in the season finale (April 16 at Memphis). Minnesota fell 4-2 to the three-time defending NBA Champion Los Angles Lakers in the first round of the 2003 Playoffs.
During the course of the season, Flip Saunders was named Western Conference Coach of the Month for February — the third time he's earned that honor (others: Jan. 2000 and 2001) — after guiding Minnesota to a 12-1 mark. Kevin Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the period of Nov. 18-24 and Western Conference Player of the Month for both February and April. Additionally, the forward was named MVP of the 52nd NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 9 in Atlanta, after registering 37 points, nine rebounds, and five steals in the West's 155-145 double-overtime victory.
The Wolves completed the home portion of their schedule at 33-8 with an April 13 win over Chicago. The 33 victories marked a club single-season record. Only Sacramento (35-6) put together a better home record this season, while Dallas, San Antonio and New Jersey all went 33-8 as well. The March 12 loss to the Spurs at Target Center snapped Minnesota's club-record (and NBA season-high) 17-game home winning streak, which dated to a 105-97 loss to Utah on Jan. 4. The Wolves finished 18-23 away from Target Center with highlighted wins at Dallas, San Antonio, Portland (twice), Phoenix and the Lakers.
Minnesota sandwiched two six-game winning streaks (Jan. 18-27, Feb. 2-16) around back-to-back losses at Dallas and Houston, then ran off seven straight wins (Feb. 19-March 2) after the Feb. 17 setback at Utah for an overall 19-3 tear. The seven-game streak ranks as the third-longest in franchise history.
The Wolves sported a 33-19 (.635) record versus Western Conference foes this season, trailing only San Antonio, Sacramento and Dallas among NBA teams. Minnesota posted an 18-12 mark against Eastern Conference opponents. The Jan. 20 win versus Toronto began a 10-game win streak against Eastern opposition.
Garnett finished runner-up for NBA MVP to San Antonio's Tim Duncan after averaging career highs of 23.0 points, 13.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 40.5 minutes per game in starting all 82 contests. It marked the fourth consecutive season in which he had tallied at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists per game. He joined Larry Bird as the only players in league history to accomplish that feat. Additionally, he became the first player since Bird in 1989-90 to rank among the league's top 15 in all three categories. Garnett finished ninth in scoring, second in rebounding, and 13th in assists (first among forwards). The eight-year veteran led the NBA with six triple-doubles, in addition to posting a league-best and franchise record 68 double-doubles. Garnett was named First Team All-NBA, First Team All-Defensive and Second Team All-Interview, and he finished third in voting for Defensive Player of the Year.
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