Garnett made consecutive 3-pointers to force overtime, and
Latrell Sprewell hit two big shots in the extra period as the
Timberwolves ended the Sacramento Kings' eight-game winning streak
112-109 Friday night.
In a game filled with gutsy baskets and impressive individual
performances, the Wolves' All-Star forward topped everything with a
pair of long shots -- one with 26 seconds left, another with 11.3
seconds to play.
With those 3-pointers -- and 33 points, a career-high 25 rebounds
and six assists -- Garnett negated the Kings' second-half comeback
and silenced the league's toughest road arena, where Sacramento had
won 10 straight.
Garnett credited his improved mental discipline.
"I'm not afraid to take any shot," said Garnett, who slumped
forward in his chair after playing 50 minutes. "In the second
half, I didn't have nearly the flow I had in the first half, so I
had to think about the game properly -- defense, high energy. I knew
I was over-jumping my shots. I had to calm down, go back to my yoga
The Western Conference rivals went to overtime for the fourth
straight time, and the Timberwolves' trio of Garnett, Sprewell and
Sam Cassell was just good enough to end the third-longest home
winning streak in Kings franchise history.
Sprewell scored a season-high 37 points despite going scoreless
in the final 8:55 of regulation, and Cassell added 26 as the
Timberwolves handed Sacramento its first home loss of the season.
The Kings knew Garnett was 1-of-8 this season on 3-pointers, so
they weren't terribly worried about giving up his first clutch
shot. The second -- also from a straightaway angle -- gave Minnesota
the lead after Mike Bibby's jumper put Sacramento ahead 102-96 with
29 seconds left in regulation.
"Great players do those things," Kings coach Rick Adelman
said. "We still had a good look at the end. I give them credit.
They made the plays in overtime to win it."
Brad Miller scored a career-high 35 points for the Kings, who
rallied from a 15-point deficit in the final minutes of regulation
only to have Miller miss two free throws with 25 seconds left and
Bibby miss a jumper at the buzzer.
"We got a little lucky on the free throws there," Sprewell
said. "Once he missed those, I thought we really had a shot. We've
gone to overtime with them twice this season. We thought they stole
one (in Minneapolis), and I'm sure they think we stole one here."
In overtime, Garnett and Sprewell scored on consecutive
possessions to give Minnesota the lead for good. Sprewell added a
layup, and the Timberwolves celebrated on the court after Cassell
scored with 11.3 seconds left.
"Spree was killing them. Sam was killing," Garnett said. "The
three-headed monster was big tonight."
Sacramento hadn't lost since Nov. 13 at Portland.
"We fall hard, but we didn't play smart those last two
possessions (in regulation)," said Bobby Jackson, who had 17
points. "We fought back, but we just had a lack of communication
and allowed KG to hit those two 3's. In the last 30 seconds of a
game, you have to know what you're doing, and we didn't execute."
Mitch Richmond, the Kings' leading scorer for seven straight
seasons in the 1990s, was honored during a halftime ceremony. He
watched the game at midcourt next to Kings owners Joe and Gavin
Maloof before his No. 2 jersey was unfurled from the Arco Arena
rafters -- the franchise's first retired jersey for a Sacramento-era
The Timberwolves were without starting center Michael
Olowokandi, a last-minute scratch with left knee tendinitis.
Saunders said Olowokandi will be out at least two weeks.
The Kings franchise has retired the jerseys of seven
players, including Oscar Robertson's No. 14 and Tiny Archibald's
No. 1. Archibald, Richmond and Sam Lacey are the only players to be
honored since the franchise moved from Cincinnati to Kansas City in
1972, changing its nickname from Royals to Kings. ... Stojakovic
missed a free throw with 4.9 seconds left in the first half, just
his seventh missed free throw in 74 tries -- making him second in
the NBA at 91.7 percent entering the game. ... Minnesota had lost
six straight in Sacramento.
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