Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/30

Game 1: Sunday, December 30th
Timberwolves95Final
Trail Blazers93
Game 2: Wednesday, February 6th
Trail Blazers103Final
Timberwolves113
Game 3: Wednesday, March 6th
Timberwolves78Final
Trail Blazers85
Game 4: Saturday, March 23rd
Trail Blazers108Final
Timberwolves99

Trail Blazers 108

(43-26, 18-17 away)

    7:00 PM ET, March 23, 2002

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 29 18 25 36108
    MIN 32 25 14 2899

    Top Performers

    Portland: D. Stoudamire 21 Pts, 1 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl

    Minnesota: W. Szczerbiak 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Red-hot Blazers 18-3 since All-Star break

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers are climbing the Western Conference ladder, passing the Minnesota Timberwolves along the way.

    Kevin Garnett

    AP

    Kevin Garnett scored 23 points for the reeling Timberwolves.

    Damon Stoudamire scored 21 points, and Scottie Pippen added 18 -- 13 in the fourth quarter -- as the Trail Blazers beat Minnesota 108-99 Saturday night, overtaking the Timberwolves for fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

    "We're warriors, we're soldiers," Stoudamire said. "We've fought ourselves out of a big hole."

    That's true of Saturday night's game, and the whole season.

    The Blazers, a league-best 18-3 since the All-Star break, trailed by 10 at the half but got back into it by taking advantage of a balanced scoring attack and cold shooting by the Timberwolves. Minnesota shot 5-for-13 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, while Portland went 16-for-18.

    Felipe Lopez hit a 3-pointer to put the Wolves up 87-85 with 4:40 to go.

    But Pippen hit two free throws, and Shawn Kemp, who had eight points in the fourth, made a layup to put the Blazers in front for good.

    Pippen, who had an otherwise quiet night, stepped us his play and his leadership in the game's final minutes, pulling Rasheed Wallace and Bonzi Wells away from arguing with the officials. Wallace and Wells already had one technical foul each.

    "We learned from the past," Pippen said. "We're not going to get back in games yelling at the officials. We got back into it by believing in one another."

    Wally Szczerbiak, who didn't have much trouble scoring on Pippen early, finished with 20 points. He said Pippen's experience paid off for the Blazers down the stretch.

    "He's just uncanny," Szczerbiak said. "He does good things when his team needs it. He got a couple of things going in the fourth quarter and we didn't respond."

    Joe Smith's two free throws at 2:01 pulled the Wolves to 95-92, but Stoudamire deflated Minnesota with a 3-pointer 13 seconds later.

    Trailing 57-47 at the half, Portland outscored Minnesota 25-14 in the third quarter. Wells opened with six straight points to spark an 11-2 run. Dale Davis hit a jumper at 6:07 to pull the Blazers to 59-58.

    The Wolves got a couple of short jumpers from Rasho Nesterovic to extend Minnesota's lead to 65-60.

    But the Blazers responded with baskets from Stoudamire, Derek Anderson and Wells. Wallace's fourth 3-pointer gave Portland a 72-69 lead with 13.1 seconds left in the third.

    "We don't give up. We continue to play. This team wants to win so badly," Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said.

    Kevin Garnett had 23 points to lead the Timberwolves, who have lost eight of 10, including six of their last seven at home -- their worst home stretch since the 1995-96 season.

    "We've got to stay aggressive, and that means going to the basket," a dejected Garnett said.

    Minnesota's offense was clicking early. Chauncey Billups hit a couple of jumpers and completed a three-point play, after drawing a foul from Wells, to put the Wolves up 17-8.

    The Wolves closed out the half on a 15-5 run.

    Game notes


    The Blazers assured themselves of their 13th consecutive winning season. ... Wallace was slapped with his league-leading 24th technical foul with 7:48 left in the first quarter for arguing a foul call. ... The Blazers are 21-3 this season when Wallace scores at least 23 points. They're 22-22 when he doesn't.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    POR
    MIN
    Points 108 99
    FGM-FGA 37-88 (.420) 40-74 (.541)
    3PM-3PA 8-21 (.381) 1-9 (.111)
    FTM-FTA 26-32 (.813) 18-28 (.643)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 19-46 4-32
    Assists 22 23
    Turnovers 12 14
    Steals 6 4
    Blocks 3 7
    Fast Break Points 5 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (4/0) 30 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Portland
    Minnesota
    Damon Stoudamire Stoudamire
    Points: 21
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Wally Szczerbiak Szczerbiak
    Points: 20
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0