Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/28

Game 1: Wednesday, November 28th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 15th
Game 3: Monday, March 11th
Game 4: Saturday, April 13th

Clippers 94

(7-8, 7-4 home)

    7:30 PM ET, November 28, 2001

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 16 21 17 2175
    LAC 20 19 28 2794

    Top Performers

    Min: K. Garnett 14 Pts, 15 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    LAC: E. Piatkowski 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Clippers win despite 25 turnovers

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves thought they could beat the Los Angeles Clippers with their stingy zone defense. They didn't expect Eric Piatkowski to be in a zone of his own.

    Eric Piatkowski

    Piatkowski scored all 24 of his points in the first three quarters and Elton Brand added 16 points and 13 rebounds as the Clippers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 94-75 Wednesday night.

    "A lot of teams don't run a whole lot of zone, so we worked on it all through practice yesterday," Piatkowski said. "We were hurt by it against Memphis because we weren't used to playing against it. So yesterday our whole scrimmage was against the zone. And, obviously, it helped."

    The Clippers beat the Midwest Division-leading Timberwolves for only the fifth time in their last 20 meetings despite committing a season-worst 25 turnovers. Los Angeles offset its mistakes by making a season-high 12 3-pointers, including five by Piatkowski and four by Quentin Richardson.

    Lamar Odom, starting for the first time in four games since serving an eight-game drug suspension, finished with six points on 2-for-3 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds in 31 minutes.

    "I'm not a player who needs the ball in my hands," Odom said. "I can go get it off the rebound and make plays for my teammates. My whole career I've averaged seven points, and I'll bet you I only average maybe 10 or 11 shots. I'm an unselfish type of player."

    Wally Szczerbiak scored 20 points and Kevin Garnett had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who entered the game with the league's third-best record at 10-3 but went down to their most lopsided defeat of the season.

    The Clippers pulled away with a 22-4 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 62-45 lead with 4:38 left in the third quarter. Piatkowski made a pair of 3s late in the rally and Odom capped it with a fast-break layup.

    Szczerbiak scored seven consecutive points to trim Minnesota's 14-point deficit to 80-70 with 6:11 to play. But Richardson, who scored all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter, responded with three consecutive 3-pointers in the final 2:18 to make the Clippers' final margin their biggest of the game.

    Brand, whose streak of 20-point games ended at 10, scored only six points in the first half -- including a fadeaway 14-foot buzzer-beater that gave Los Angeles a 39-37 edge at intermission.

    The Clippers, who committed 13 turnovers in the half to Minnesota's five, did not send the Timberwolves to the foul line until Anthony Peeler sank two with 7:03 left in the second quarter.

    Los Angeles took only 10 shots in the first 7 1/2 minutes and committed seven turnovers in the first quarter, but still led 20-16. Garnett missed six of his first seven shots, while Piatkowski went 4-for-5 with a pair of 3-pointers and Brand blocked three shots by Gary Trent in a one-minute span.

    "Eric got hot real fast and got them into a nice little rhythm," Garnett said. "I couldn't hit a bucket, so that didn't help, either. But we're fighters and we kept on fighting, but they busted it wide open in the third quarter and we never recovered from that. So we've got to go back to the drawing board and figure it out."

    Game notes
    Piatkowski became the 11th player in franchise history to play at least 10,000 minutes for the Clippers, and the seventh to do it exclusively in Los Angeles. ... The Timberwolves are back at Staples Center on Saturday night, when they try to end a string of 14 straight road losses to the Lakers. Minnesota is one of five teams playing the Clippers and Lakers in back-to-back games at Staples this season, and the only club that will do it twice. ... All of Minnesota's first 14 opponents have shot below 50 percent from the field. The Clippers (46.1) and the Knicks are the only teams that have shot above 45 percent against them.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 75 94
    FGM-FGA 33-91 (.363) 35-76 (.461)
    3PM-3PA 4-20 (.200) 12-18 (.667)
    FTM-FTA 5-6 (.833) 12-16 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-37 15-48
    Assists 22 26
    Turnovers 14 25
    Steals 12 5
    Blocks 6 10
    Fast Break Points 10 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 13 (0/1)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 14
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Eric Piatkowski Piatkowski
    Points: 24
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0