Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Tuesday, December 9th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 28th
Game 3: Friday, February 27th
Game 4: Friday, April 9th

Warriors 74

(35-44, 25-14 home)

    Coverage: FSBAY

    7:30 PM ET, April 9, 2004

    ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 28 21 16 2792
    GS 18 32 11 1374

    Top Performers

    Min: K. Garnett 29 Pts, 15 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

    GS: A. Foyle 20 Pts, 16 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

    Garnett's 29 and 15 lead rout of Warriors

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Kevin Garnett says that if he's the MVP favorite, it's only because the Minnesota Timberwolves are enjoying their best season.

    Garnett's teammates think he's got it backward: They're reaching unprecedented heights because they've got the best player in the NBA.

    Garnett had 29 points and 15 rebounds to keep the Timberwolves atop the Western Conference with their seventh straight victory, 92-74 over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

    Sam Cassell added 19 points and seven assists for the Timberwolves, who pulled away in the fourth quarter with a 14-0 run led by Garnett. The 6-foot-11 superstar with a guard's skills hit four jumpers in the rally as Minnesota snapped the Warriors' seven-game home winning streak.

    "They should send the (MVP) trophy right now," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "Not to take anything away from some of the other guys, Jermaine O'Neal and those people, but he's just having a tremendous year."

    A day after beating the Kings in Sacramento to take over the conference lead, Minnesota thrived in another tough road arena by holding the Warriors to 24 points in the second half.

    And if the Timberwolves (56-24) end the best regular season in franchise history with victories over Utah on Monday and Memphis on Wednesday, they'll have home-court advantage throughout the conference playoffs.

    "I don't like to look too far ahead, and I don't like to get too up," Garnett said. "There's always room for improvement, but right now, we're playing well. Our thing is consistency, and tonight, we made some beautiful adjustments."

    Adonal Foyle had a career-high 20 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for the Warriors, who will miss the playoffs for the 10th straight season.

    Golden State refuses to quit, however. Led by Foyle and Troy Murphy, who had 20 points, the Warriors had a chance to beat Minnesota for the third time this season.

    But Garnett, who made all six of his shots in the first half, wouldn't allow it. He seized control in the fourth, hitting back-to-back jumpers before Cassell made consecutive baskets to give Minnesota its biggest lead, 86-72. Garnett then added two more jumpers.

    "We took away his turnaround, and we took away the baseline," Foyle said. "So he goes to the fade. You can't stop the fade. It's ridiculous. There's nothing you can do. You try to get Kevin to use his third option, and then he kills you with the third option."

    After playing impressive defense in their victory at Sacramento, the Timberwolves held Golden State to 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting in the fourth quarter. The Warriors struggled for open shots and also missed the ones they got, going 0-for-14 on 3-pointers.

    Warriors coach Eric Musselman, whose future has been the topic of much speculation, praised Minnesota in a brief statement to reporters. He took one question before retreating to his office in an unusual display from the affable coach.

    "Minnesota is playing at a championship-caliber level," Musselman said. "We just couldn't put the ball in deep, and they're playing like there's high stakes involved."

    Wally Szczerbiak and Latrell Sprewell struggled, combining to miss 17 of their 25 shots. Garnett picked up the slack, going 12-for-15 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line.

    In his fifth straight start in place of injured Erick Dampier, Foyle made his strongest case yet for a new contract. Foyle and Dampier, the longest-tenured Warriors with seven seasons apiece, both can become free agents this summer.

    Foyle, who's missed 34 games with injuries this season, reached his season high in points early in the second quarter. He hit his career high on a coast-to-coast drive for a layup early in the third -- and didn't score again.

    Game notes

    Mike Dunleavy showed up at Golden State's morning shoot-around with his hair in cornrows. He removed them before the game, then scored just four points on 1-for-7 shooting. ... The Warriors had their seventh sellout crowd of the season. ... The Warriors were hoping for their first eight-game home winning streak since 1992.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 74
    FGM-FGA 36-85 (.424) 27-76 (.355)
    3PM-3PA 3-12 (.250) 0-14 (.000)
    FTM-FTA 17-22 (.773) 20-28 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-45 12-43
    Assists 20 18
    Turnovers 13 20
    Steals 10 5
    Blocks 6 2
    Fast Break Points 2 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 24 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 29
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 2
    Adonal Foyle Foyle
    Points: 20
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2