Recaps: October/November | December | January | February | March | April

The Timberwolves entered the 2004 NBA Playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference, facing the eighth-seeded Denver Nuggets. Minnesota had never won a playoff series in seven previous attempts; Denver was making its first appearance in the postseason after an eight-year absence. In fact, eight of 12 players for Denver were playing in their first-ever playoff game, while only two players on the Wolves roster (Michael Olowokandi and Trenton Hassell) were in the postseason for the first time.

Denver took a 2-0 lead 10 seconds into Game 1 and led by four points twice, but the Wolves tied the game at 16 on a three-point play by Sam Cassell, then took the lead on a jumper by Olowokandi and never trailed again in the game. The lead extended to as many as 22 points, 70-48, before Denver went on an enormous 27-10 run to close within five early in the fourth quarter.

But Cassell scored 12 of his playoff career-high 40 points in the final eight minutes as the Wolves won 106-92, Minnesota's first-ever Game 1 victory and the team's second-biggest playoff win ever. Kevin Garnett finished with 30 points and a game-high 20 rebounds, his seventh career 30/20 night and second in the playoffs. Denver rookie Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points on just 6-of-17 from the field.

Latrell Sprewell hit a franchise-record seven three-pointers as Minnesota took its first-ever 2-0 lead in a playoff series with a 95-81 win. Sprewell scored 31 points overall, while Garnett recorded his third career playoff triple-double with 20 points, 22 rebounds and 10 assists. His 20 defensive rebounds tied an NBA single-game playoff record.

The Wolves led by just one point at the end of the first quarter, but Minnesota outscored Denver 22-9 in the second and the Nuggets never got closer than 11 points in the second half. Cassell had 12 points with nine assists, while Wally Szczerbiak scored 11 points off the bench.

The series shifted to Denver, and Game 3 was a completely different story from the previous two games. The Nuggets dominated in a 107-86 decision, slicing the Wolves' series lead to 2-1. It was the Wolves' third-biggest loss in the postseason.

The Nuggets jumped out to a 23-6 lead and never trailed in the game. Five Denver players scored in double figures, led by Anthony's 24 points, while Sprewell had 25 points and Garnett 24 for the Wolves.

A physical Game 4 was close throughout, with the game tied at the end of the first quarter and at halftime, and the Wolves held a three-point lead after three quarters after leading by as many as nine points during that period. The Wolves pushed the lead back to eight points twice in the final quarter and led by seven with 3:18 remaining before Denver came back.

Voshon Lenard hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to four with 2:05 remaining, then hit another 47 seconds later to cut the lead to one. Sprewell responded with a "three" of his own after a timeout, then the Nuggets sliced the lead to two on a Nene slam dunk. Sprewell missed two free throws with 12 seconds left and Denver had a chance to win at the buzzer, but the Nuggets missed two jumpers and time expired as the Wolves held on for an 84-82 win.

Garnett led the Wolves with 27 points and 14 rebounds, while Cassell had 15, Trenton Hassell had 14 and Sprewell had 13. Anthony scored only two points; his only field goal came on a dunk in the third quarter. He left the game less than two minutes later after twisting his left knee and ankle but did return later in the game. Lenard led Denver with 28 points, including 6-of-7 three-pointers.

The Wolves ran out to a 26-point first-half lead in Game 5 before the Nuggets rallied — without Anthony, who sat out the game with a left knee sprain. Denver closed to within 72-66 late in the third quarter before Garnett took over. He scored eight points in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, increasing the lead to 84-70. The Nuggets never got closer than nine points for the remainder of the game as Minnesota wrapped up its first-ever playoff series victory with a 102-91 win at Target Center.

The Wolves never trailed in Game 5, just the second wire-to-wire win in franchise playoff history. The victory was Minnesota's ninth straight at home (dating to the regular season). Garnett led the Wolves across the board with 28 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, but his playoff string of 14 consecutive double-doubles came to an end.

The first-round win set up a semifinal matchup with the fourth-seeded Sacramento Kings, who defeated Dallas in five games. As the top seed in the West, the Wolves would again have home court advantage.

Game 1: Wolves 106, Nuggets 92
Recap | Box | Video: 56k | 300k
Quotes | Notes | Photos


Game 2: Wolves 95, Nuggets 81
Recap | Box | Video: 56k | 300k
Quotes | Notes | Photos


Game 3: Nuggets 107, Wolves 86
Recap | Box | Video: 56k | 300k
Notes | Photos


Game 4: Wolves 84, Nuggets 82
Recap | Box | Video: 56k | 300k
Notes | Photos


Game 5: Wolves 102, Nuggets 91
Recap | Box | Video: 56k | 300k
Quotes | Notes | Photos

NBA Playoffs: Round 1
Game
Date
Opponent
Result
Record
High Pts
High Reb
Attend.
1
Apr 18
1-0
Cassell 40
Garnett 20
18,503
2
Apr 21
2-0
Sprewell 31
Garnett 22
18,101
3
Apr 24
2-1
Sprewell 25
Garnett 11
19,713
4
Apr 27
3-1
Garnett 27
Garnett 14
19,694
5
Apr 30
4-1
Garnett 28
Garnett 7
Madsen 7

TICKETS
2012-13 SEASON TICKETS
2012-13 SEASON TICKETS
2011-12 SINGLE GAME TICKETS
2011-12 SINGLE GAME TICKETS
4-GAME FLEX PACK
4-GAME FLEX PACK
2011-12 SINGLE GAME TICKETS
2011-12 SINGLE GAME TICKETS
Schedule
You do not have the correct version of the Flash Player Plugin. Click here to get it.