Bibby 33, Cassell 40, lead scoring

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Mike Bibby had another big postseason

performance, while Kevin Garnett played below his MVP standard.

Bibby scored 33 points as the Sacramento Kings started the

second round with an impressive victory and took the home-court

advantage away from the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 104-98

victory Tuesday night. Game 2 is Saturday.

"K.G. is an animal," Bibby said. "We know he's going to come

out next time and try not to let this happen to his team again.

There's no time to relax."

Still, Sacramento is in great shape after surviving a tremendous

game by Sam Cassell, who had his second 40-point output since the

playoffs began.

"He really kept them in the game," Bibby said. "He got hot.

He stayed hot."

The difference: Cassell didn't have any help down the stretch,

whereas Bibby had five teammates score in double digits.

"We screwed up what we worked 82 games for, as far as homecourt

advantage," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "Now we have to

go and get one."

The Timberwolves have never been this far in the playoffs, and

it seemed to show at times. Garnett, who held up his MVP trophy in

a pregame ceremony after remarks by commissioner David Stern, had a

quiet 16 points and 18 rebounds -- plus six turnovers.

"Obviously it starts with me, so I got to make the

adjustments," said Garnett, who shot 1-for-8 in the second half.

Latrell Sprewell missed all six of his shots after halftime, and

Minnesota totaled 18 turnovers.

"We have to put this game behind us," Garnett said, "but we

also have to learn from it."

Bibby, who scored 36 points in a decisive Game 5 victory over

Dallas to finish the first round, was 10-for-21 from the field.

"I was just aggressive, like I've said I wanted to be," he


The fourth period featured six ties, the last at 83-all with

5:23 remaining. After blocking Ervin Johnson's layup, Chris Webber

made a jumper on the other end to put the Kings ahead 93-86 with

2:18 left.

Cassell, who also had 40 points in Game 1 of Minnesota's

opening-round series against Denver, sank four of his game-high

seven 3-pointers in the final two minutes.

He cut Sacramento's lead to 95-92 with 1:08 to play, but Doug

Christie -- who had 13 points -- answered with a 3 of his own.

Cassell's last long shot, with 19.1 seconds left, pulled the

Wolves to 102-98. But Bibby, who went 10-for-12 at the line, made

two free throws to put it out of reach.

"Bib, man, I can't say enough about him," Christie said. "He

played a big-time game."

Sprewell finished with five points on 2-for-14 shooting. Trenton

Hassell had 17 points for the Timberwolves while playing tight

defense on the normally sure-shooting Peja Stojakovic, forcing him

into a 14-point night and 10 misses in 15 attempts -- including

three jumpers that completely missed the rim.

Minnesota led the rebounds 48-39, but Sacramento held a huge

edge in trips to the foul line. The Kings, the NBA's second-best

free-throw shooting team during the regular season, went 30-for-35

after 26 fouls by the Timberwolves.

Sacramento was called for 17 fouls, leading to only 12

free-throw attempts for Minnesota -- and the fans were fuming about


"When it comes to the refs," Garnett said, "that's out of our


The Kings, who lost eight of their final 12 regular-season games

to fall to fourth place in the conference, rediscovered their moxie

against the Mavericks -- and four days off didn't slow the momentum.

They scored 34 points in the first quarter, 14 by Bibby.

"He's one of the toughest guys to defend, because he knows how

to pick-and-roll," Cassell said. "We just have to make some

defensive changes, play hard and see what happens."

Making sneaky back cuts, precision passes and plenty of long

shots, Sacramento went up 40-29 early in the second quarter even

with leading scorer Stojakovic stymied.

The Wolves, who had nine turnovers in the first 16 minutes,

closed the half with an 18-8 run to cut the lead to 48-47.

Game notes
The Kings used only two reserves. All-Star Brad Miller had

13 points, and Anthony Peeler -- formerly of the Timberwolves -- had

two points on 1-for-6 shooting. ... Hassell's career high is 22

points, as a rookie with Chicago in November 2001. ... Cassell ran

into Divac's midsection while dribbling across the lane in the

first quarter, and Divac doubled over in pain after scoring 10

points in the game's first eight minutes. Divac finished with 14

points in 25 minutes. ... Randy Moss, wearing a black Garnett

jersey, sat courtside with Vikings teammate Corey Chavous. ...

Baseball great Reggie Jackson was in the crowd, too.