Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/4

Game 1: Saturday, December 4th
Game 2: Friday, December 17th
Game 3: Thursday, February 24th
Game 4: Sunday, March 27th

Timberwolves 107

(11-5, 7-3 away)

Clippers 100

(10-7, 6-4 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    7:30 PM ET, December 4, 2004

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    MIN 32 17 25 18 15107
    LAC 22 20 27 23 8100

    Top Performers

    Min: S. Cassell 30 Pts, 3 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl

    LAC: C. Maggette 34 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast

    Wolves win 5th straight, end Clips' win streak at 5

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves learned what two other teams discovered earlier this season: The way to win on the Clippers' home court is to take them to overtime.

    Sam Cassell scored eight of his season-high 30 points in overtime and Kevin Garnett added 22 points and 15 rebounds, helping the Timberwolves beat Los Angeles 107-100 Saturday night for their fifth straight victory.

    "We were a little sluggish tonight, and the guys just needed me to get them going," Cassell said. "I took what they gave me and made shots. It's a simple game if you know how to play it."

    All three overtime losses by the Clippers this season have come at Staples Center, and all against teams with winning records. Houston beat them, as did the defending champion Pistons in double OT.

    The Clippers are off to the best start in their Los Angeles era at 10-7, and they know they could just as easily be 13-4.

    "We had great opportunities in overtime, but we have to learn through experience how to close these games out," said Corey Maggette, who tied a career high with 34 points. "We executed well, but they're a veteran team and they play well together. When it came down to the end, Sam Cassell hit the clutch shots and ran his team."

    Eddie Griffin had 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for Minnesota, which went 4-0 on its road trip and snapped the Clippers' five-game winning streak. It's the first time the Timberwolves have swept a road trip of four or more games in their 16-year history.

    "We've had great execution down the stretch, especially in all four games on the road," Minnesota guard Fred Hoiberg said. "Sam kept us in the game, coming down and hitting some shots in transition."

    The Clippers committed 20 turnovers -- seven of them in the first nine minutes against a Minnesota defense that entered the game last in the league in turnovers forced (12.6) and next-to-last in steals (5.67).

    "There were too many turnovers," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We gave a really good team too many chances to win."

    Cassell hit consecutive jumpers 40 seconds apart to give Minnesota a 96-94 edge with 2:21 left in OT. After Bobby Simmons hit one of two free throws, Griffin made a 3-pointer for a four-point margin.

    Mikki Moore also missed one of two at the line for the Clippers before Cassell missed a 3-point shot at the other end. But Maggette tried to pass the ball through traffic, and Cassell intercepted it before going in for a driving layup and a 101-96 lead with 58 seconds to go. Latrell Sprewell's short jumper clinched it with 31 seconds left.

    The Timberwolves have beaten the Clippers eight consecutive times, including four straight in Los Angeles.

    Garnett, last season's MVP, has had at least 15 rebounds and 15 points in each of his last five games.

    Los Angeles pulled ahead 77-76 with an 8-0 spurt capped by Moore's tip-in with 8:25 left in regulation. The lead changed hands seven more times before Simmons converted an offensive rebound of a missed 3-pointer by Rick Brunson and hit a free throw for a three-point play that put the Clippers ahead 91-90 with 1:48 left.

    After a free throw by Brunson, Garnett's eight-footer in the lane tied it at 92-all with 26 seconds to go. Brunson missed a 13-footer from the key and Simmons also misfired as time ran out in regulation.

    The Timberwolves, who ended Phoenix's nine-game winning streak on Friday, led 49-42 at halftime despite poor shooting by two of its big three. Garnett missed 10 of his first 13 shots -- including a slam-dunk attempt off an offensive rebound with 2:54 left in the first half. Sprewell connected on his first shot but missed his next six.

    Game notes

    Minnesota outscored Los Angeles 23-4 in points off turnovers. In their previous seven games, the Timberwolves were outscored 121-63 in that category. ... Cassell was only the third player this season to score at least 30 points against the Clippers. The others were Tracy McGrady and Amare Stoudemire. ... Maggette was the first player to score 30 or more points against Minnesota this season. ... Los Angeles F Kerry Kittles missed his sixth straight game with a bruised right knee.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 107 100
    FGM-FGA 41-89 (.461) 37-79 (.468)
    3PM-3PA 10-22 (.455) 4-12 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 15-21 (.714) 22-33 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-36 13-45
    Assists 24 23
    Turnovers 10 20
    Steals 12 1
    Blocks 3 2
    Fast Break Points 13 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (1/0) 22 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 11 2

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Sam Cassell Cassell
    Points: 30
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Corey Maggette Maggette
    Points: 34
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0