Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/15

Game 1: Friday, November 15th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 19th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 18th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 16th

    7:00 PM ET, April 16, 2003

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 26 21 27 2195
    MEM 19 24 22 2287

    Top Performers

    Minnesota: K. Garnett 19 Pts, 16 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Memphis: J. Williams 11 Pts, 4 Reb, 12 Ast, 1 Stl

    T-Wolves grab No. 4 seed with win over Grizzlies

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Kevin Garnett made sure the Minnesota Timberwolves earned the best playoff position in franchise history.

    Kevin Garnett

    Garnett had 19 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists as Minnesota clinched home-court advantage for the opening round of the playoffs for the first time ever with a 95-87 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

    "Our goal was to get the home-court advantage all year and we accomplished that,'' Minnesota's Wally Szczerbiak said.

    The Timberwolves ended the season with a 51-31 record and the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference.

    Getting home court, for at least one round, gives the Timberwolves a fighting chance in the packed West. Minnesota has never made it to the second round of the playoffs, getting eliminated six straight times.

    Garnett, who has been criticized for not leading his team to a series victory, capped a sensational regular season with his league-leading 63rd double-double.

    Garnett said leadership is something that builds throughout the season.

    "I made sure everybody was ready and I made sure every game that we came out and competed,'' he said. "That's all I can do. We're grown men here, so I just try to lead and sort of direct and hope that they follow.''

    Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said playing at home is a definite benefit.

    "We have the second-best home record. We are 33-8,'' Saunders said. "We've won 23 of our last 26 at home and we have a streak of 17 in there. To us, we have a comfort level there.''

    The Timberwolves also got 17 points from Szczerbiak, 14 from Anthony Peeler and 12 from Marc Jackson.

    Memphis was led by Stromile Swift and Pau Gasol with 18 points each. Gasol also had 14 rebounds. Jason Williams had 11 points and 12 assists for Memphis, while Mike Batiste also had 11 points.

    The Grizzlies finished 28-54, setting a franchise record for victories but still finishing 32 games behind San Antonio in the Midwest Division.

    Memphis also was better at home, going 20-21, and Grizzlies leading scorer Pau Gasol said he felt good about the season overall.

    "We worked very hard and did our best. We are a very young team ... We have to be proud of ourselves,'' Gasol said.

    The shot clock on the Grizzlies' end of the court went out early in the final period, and Memphis had to do with an auxiliary set on the floor at its right corner. The play-by-play announcer gave the count aloud on the final 10 seconds of a Memphis possession.

    Memphis coach Hubie Brown said the Grizzlies hurt themselves badly at the foul line, hitting 12 of 23.

    "We were playing a team that was fighting to get home-court advantage for the playoffs ... and if we had not missed 11 foul shots we would have won the game,'' Brown said.

    The Grizzlies, having trailed since the opening basket, took their first lead, 53-51, at 9:12 of the third period on a layup by Shane Battier. But Minnesota came back to end the quarter leading 74-65 after scoring the final six points of the period.

    Game notes

    It was the first time in team history the Grizzlies wrapped up a season at home. ... The Timberwolves are 4-0 against the Grizzlies this year and have won all seven meetings since the Grizzlies moved to Memphis last season. ... Minnesota leads the series 28-4. ... Garnett got his 100th dunk of the season at 7:27 of the first period. ... Timberwolves F Joe Smith was sidelined with a hyperextended knee hurt in practice Monday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 95 87
    FGM-FGA 37-88 (.420) 35-85 (.412)
    3PM-3PA 4-8 (.500) 5-15 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 17-23 (.739) 12-23 (.522)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-54 10-46
    Assists 22 23
    Turnovers 8 8
    Steals 6 3
    Blocks 8 7
    Fast Break Points 10 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (2/0) 18 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 19
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Jason Williams Williams
    Points: 11
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0