Garnett scores 15 of his 30 in fourth and OT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Kevin Garnett knows the formula: MVP

awards are won in the regular season, and superstars are born only

in the playoffs.

And when Garnett added the first landmark postseason performance

to his resume, The Kid capped it with a man-sized shot. His star

continues to rise -- and the Minnesota Timberwolves are enjoying the


Garnett scored 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and

overtime, including a fallaway jumper to beat the shot clock with

10.8 seconds left in the Timberwolves' 114-113 victory over the

Kings in Game 3 of the second-round playoff series Monday night.

With several clutch baskets in a thrilling duel with Peja

Stojakovic, Garnett saved Minnesota from disaster. The Timberwolves

blew a 14-point lead in the final four minutes of regulation, with

Stojakovic tying it on a 3-pointer with 10.7 seconds left.

But when the Wolves had a one-point lead, a dwindling shot clock

and a world of pressure in overtime, Garnett was strong enough to

shoulder it. He calmly glanced at the opposite shot clock, moved

and jumped backward, releasing a soft jumper that bounced in.

"That's what everybody wants you to do," Garnett said. "I'm

in a position where I have to make decisions, like a point guard.

If you make it, you're a hero. If you miss it, everybody hates you.

"But I've got a strong back and a strong spine, and I've got

full confidence in my teammates."

When Stojakovic's final shot fell well short, Garnett also led

the Timberwolves' joyous charge off the court. Sacramento coach

Rick Adelman irately confronted the officials and fans threw dozens

of giveaway plastic rattles on the court to protest the lack of a

foul call.

With their third victory this season at Arco Arena, the

Timberwolves took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is

Wednesday night in Sacramento, where the Kings lost for just the

second time in 10 playoff games.

Led by a sensational finish for Stojakovic, who scored 22 of his

29 points after the third quarter, the Kings erased a 14-point

deficit in the final four minutes of regulation, then forced OT by

swarming Garnett at the buzzer. The comeback even bested

Minnesota's rally from a 10-point deficit in Game 2.

Stojakovic traded scores with Garnett in an unbearably tense

overtime. But after Latrell Sprewell hit a jumper with 59 seconds

left to claim a one-point lead for Minnesota, Chris Webber made a

turnover to set up Garnett's big shot.

"That's why he's the MVP," Sam Cassell said. "I keep telling

him, 'Kevin, you amaze me sometimes.' "

Stojakovic hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds left, and

Garnett was called for traveling two seconds later. Sacramento got

the ball to Stojakovic, but he failed to draw a foul from Trenton

Hassell on an awkward jumper shortly before time expired.

"We knew they would go to him," Hassell said. "He jumped into

me. You don't want to foul a jump shooter."

"I just think a guy gets that close to a shooter at the end of

a game and forces him to change his shot and gets a body on him, it

should be a foul," Adelman said. "I feel bad for Peja, because he

deserved more respect than that."

Extra time is nothing new to these clubs: Earlier in the season,

the teams set an NBA record with their fourth consecutive overtime


Garnett also grabbed 15 rebounds, while Sprewell had 25 points

and nine rebounds. Fred Hoiberg hit four 3-pointers, and Hassell

scored 16 points.

But the game boiled down to a thrilling duel between All-Stars,

and Garnett was slightly better.

Sacramento went up by a point on another 3-pointer by Stojakovic

with 1:46 left in overtime, but Garnett made two free throws.

Stojakovic followed with a layup -- but he finally blinked, missing

a free throw that would have given Sacramento a two-point lead.

"It's over. I missed it. We lost the game," said Stojakovic,

whose streak of 66 consecutive free throws had been snapped in the

first quarter.

Doug Christie had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, and

Mike Bibby scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter before

fouling out in overtime. Webber had 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting,

and he didn't score in OT.

"We should let this hurt the heck out of us tonight," Webber

said. "Hopefully the pain will sink in."

Until the final minutes of regulation, Sacramento seemed headed

to an embarrassing home loss. Shooting poorly and making 15

turnovers, the Kings fell behind 98-84 when Mark Madsen dunked over

two Kings with 4:14 to play. But Bibby and Stojakovic suddenly

awoke and the Kings finished regulation with a 20-6 run.

Game notes
Game 2 hero Cassell had just nine points before fouling out

with 1:26 left in regulation. ... Cubs 1B Derrek Lee, a Sacramento

native, cheered loudly for the Kings while attending the game with

his family. Chicago opens a road trip in Los Angeles on Tuesday.