Back to the top
1: Lakers 117 - Timberwolves 98
TARGET CENTER - MINNEAPOLIS. This city owns five NBA championships.
Of course it´s been a long time since the Lakers moved to
Los Angeles and the Wolves does not seem capable of getting another
The Lakers began pursuit of their fourth straight NBA title retaking
home-court advantage Sunday afternoon, with hardly an effort at
Bryant scored 39 points and Shaquille O'Neal had 32 points and
10 rebounds as the Lakers defeated Minnesota 117-98 to open their
The Lakers shot for 61.4 percent from the floor in the first 24
minutes, committing just two turnovers and hitting 7-of-11 from
3-point range to take a 66-52 halftime lead.
In 22 minutes, Bryant had 28 points, on 12-for-16 shooting, seven
assists, three rebounds, one steal and no turnovers. He finished
with eight assists, five rebounds, one steal and one turnover.
Kevin Garnett had 23
points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, but that was not enough
to help the Timberwolves win. Minnesota has home-court advantage
for the first time in their history, but they have been eliminated
in the opening round the past six years.
The Timberwolves briefly made it close, climbing within 80-76
with 2:49 left in the third quarter but the Lakers reacted as
O'Neal had eight points during a 12-0 run over the next four minutes.
Los Angeles made 10-of-19 3-pointers while Minnesota went
just 1-of-5 from the arc. Fisher, who finished with 17 points,
was 5-of-6 from 3-point range.
The Lakers are trying to become the second team to win at least
four straight titles. Boston won eight in a row from 1959-66
Bryant (LA): "I don't know what the big deal is
about playing on the road. I've never seen fans scream loud enough
to block my jump shot"
Wally Szczerbiak (Min): "He was, you know, pretty
I was trying to deny, anything, and he got it and hit
shots with guys draped all over him.'' (about Kobe)
HighlightsKobe Bryant (LAL) 39 pts 8assist 5 reb
O'Neal (LAL) 32 pts 10 reb
Fisher (LAL) 17 pts
George (LAL) 11 pts / Fox (LAL)
Garnett (Min): 23 pts 14 reb 7 assist
17pts / Szczerbiak (Min) 15 pts
Back to the top
2: Timberwolves 119 - Lakers 91
Wolves will give battle.
TARGET CENTER - MINNESOTA. In Game 2 of their first-round series
Kevin Garnett, Troy Hudson and the Minnesota Timberwolves gave
the Lakers their biggest playoff loss in three years 119-91. To
find something similar you have to travel to the 120-87 loss to
the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 of the 2000 Finals.
In 48 hard minutes, the Lakers did not rebound (35 rebounds to
the Minnesota's 52), did not handle the Timberwolves' press, did
not defend (the Timberwolves made 55.6% of their field-goal attempts)
and did not shoot well themselves (36.3%).
Troy Hudson scored a playoff franchise-record 37 points and handed
out 10 assists for the Timberwolves. He averaged only 14.2 points
during the regular season, and his best effort was 31.
Minnesota also got a great game from Kevin Garnett, who collected
a playoff career-high 35 points, 20 rebounds and seven assists.
Bryant and O'Neal each scored 27 points for the Lakers but
they didn't get much help from their teammates. Nobody else scored
more than eight points.
A somber Shaquille O'Neal, who spent a day and a half in South
Carolina for his grandfather's funeral, showed up about 90 minutes
before tipoff and wasn't much of a factor, despite his points
Kobe Bryant, the other Laker star, had his 27 points on 9-of-28
shooting -- far below his spectacular 39-point performance in
Hudson scored six points in a 10-2 spurt to open the game and
Minnesota never trailed. He nailed a 3-pointer over Shaquille
O'Neal just before the halftime buzzer to make it 57-43.
The Timberwolves began the second half with a 13-4 run that ended
with Hudson's 3-pointer for a 70-47 cushion with 8:55 left in
Minnesota, which had never won a postseason
game by more than nine points, led by as many as 24 in the third
quarter but let the Lakers creep back into it in the fourth. Then
Garnett made four of his five field-goal attempts in that final
Garnett's last basket -- a jumper from 12 feet -- elicited a thunderous
chant of "MVP'' from the crowd.
Szczerbiak had 21 points, and Marc Jackson had 12 off the bench
for the Timberwolves.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Los Angeles, where the Wolves are
3-24 all-time against the Lakers.
Phil Jackson (LAL): "I don't think they can play any
better than that, they played a desperate game.'' ... "I
don't think we're supposed to sweep every series," Jackson
Kevin Garnett (Min): "They're going to have to really
stab us, cut our hearts out and just put us in the morgue. This
is a team full of pride and we have a lot of character."
HighlightsBryant (LAL) 27 pts 8assist
(LAL) 27 pts 14 reb
Garnett (Min): 35 pts 20 reb 7
Hudson (Min): 37 pts 10 assist
(Min): 21 pts
Back to the top
3: Timberwolves 114 - Lakers 110
aren't feeling at home.
STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. The Staples Center made its first
appearance of the postseason, bringing with it a 16-game win
streak this season and a 26-5 playoff record in the Phil Jackson
era, but the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame the loss of Kevin
Garnett to post the biggest win in franchise history.
With Garnett on the sideline after fouling out early in overtime,
the Timberwolves made seven free throws in the final 24.3 seconds
to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-110 in game 3 of their
Western Conference first-round series and take a 2-1 lead in
the best-of-seven series.
The Lakers trail in a first-round series for the first time
since 1996, when they lost to the Houston Rockets in 4 games.
After stealing homecourt advantage in the series opener, the
Lakers gave it back at home.
Through three quarters, O'Neal and Bryant made only a third
of their shots, while the Lakers' leading scorer was Fisher,
whose 23 points kept the Lakers close. Once again the Lakers
couldn't handle the Minnesota's full-court pressure.
Everybody thought the miracle was about to happened when Kobe
Bryant scored 5 points in the final 17 seconds, but he missed
a free throw that could have won the game.
Bryant, with a sore shoulder, finished with a team-high 30 points,
but missed 18 of his 28 shots, while Shaquille O'Neal had 28
points, missing 16 of his 26 shots and 8 of his 16 free throws.
Shaq also added 17 rebounds and 5 blocks for L.A., which hosts
Game 4 on Sunday.
The Lakers could not stop Garnett, who collected 33 points and
14 rebounds before fouling out in the first 12 seconds of overtime.
Rookie Jannero Pargo hit a pair of free throws in overtime that
gave the Lakers their final lead, 108-107, with 47.7 seconds
left but O'Neal missed 2 of 4 free throws in the final 10.4
seconds. Drained by his grandfather's death last week, a cross-
country trip to attend his wake and the arrival of a baby boy,
O'Neal has yet to regain the dominant form that made him unstoppable
the past 3 playoff runs.
Kobe Bryant (LAL): "We have been in similar situations,''
Bryant said. "We know how to deal with this.''
Kevin Garnett (Min): "It was miserable, knowing I
couldn't come out there and help my team, I was going to be a
T-Wolves cheerleader without the skirt and pom-poms.''
HighlightsBryant (LAL) 30 pts 7 reb 6 assist
O'Neal (LAL) 28 pts 17 reb 5 block
Fisher (LAL): 23 pts
Garnett (Min): 33 pts 14 reb 4 block
Hudson (Min): 27 pts / Szczerbiak: 13 pts 6 reb
M. Jackson (Min): 12 pts 8 reb
Back to the top
4: Lakers 102 - Timberwolves 97
STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. O'Neal had his best game of the
series with 34 points and 23 rebounds as the Lakers rallied
to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 102-97, and even their
series at two games apiece.
Kobe Bryant added 32 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter,
despite shooting 7-of-25 with persistent pain in his right shoulder.
He was 16-of-17 from the foul line, making four free throws
without a miss in the last 12.8 seconds to clinch the victory.
The Lakers, facing the possibility of a 3-1 deficit, started
the game trying to make a statement, with O'Neal scoring 15
of the Lakers' first 21 points and Kobe Bryant following with
a 360-degree breakaway dunk.
But it didn't last. The Timberwolves scored the final nine points
of the first quarter to take a 26-25 lead and held a 45-43 advantage
at the end of the first half. At that point the Wolves had got
20 points from Troy Hudson and 10 and 11 rebounds from Garnett.
The Lakers appeared to be in great trouble with 1:57 left in
the third quarter, when a 3-pointer by Hudson made it 74-63
for the Timberwolves. But Los Angeles scored the final 8 points
of the quarter and then Kobe tied the game with a 3-pointer
with 10:49 remaining.
The Timberwolves were ahead again 87-82 with 6:34 left. But
the Lakers scored 6 straight points, to take the the lead for
good 88-87 on a jumper by Devean George with 4:40 to play.
After Kevin Garnett got Minnesota within 96-95 on a shot from
the arc with 35 seconds left, Bryant missed a hanging jumper
in the lane, but O'Neal tipped in the rebound to make it 98-95
with 19 seconds to play.
Garnett was fouled four seconds later but missed both shots,
and Bryant gave the Lakers a five-point lead with a pair from
the line with 12 seconds left.
Garnett made it 100-97 with a turnaround jumper with 8.8 seconds
remaining, but Bryant was perfect from the line again to give
the game the final numbers with 7.2 left.
O'Neal, who made 13 of his 26 shots, was only 8-of-15 from the
line but grabbed 10 offensive rebounds - two more than the Timberwolves.
That was one of the keys for the Lakers victory because Los
Angeles outscored Minnesota on second-chance points, 29-2.
This was Shaq's eighth career playoff game with at least 30
points and 20 rebounds.
The Lakers lost Rick Fox to a strained left ankle tendon with
6:37 left in the first quarter. He did not return.
Garnett scored 28 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for Minnesota,
which held Los Angeles to 40 percent shooting (35-of-88) but
connected on just 43 percent (36-of-83).
The Lakers got key points from George and Madsen, and Brian
Shaw had 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting with 6 rebounds in 27
minutes. Shaw also applied a suffocating defensive pressure
on Troy Hudson, who had his 28 points in the first three quarters,
but zero in the fourth.
Shaquille O'Neal (LAL): "I've got to get the damned
ball, bring the ball and throw it to me every time. If I get the
ball every time, I can do what I do and we're fine."
Brian Shaw (LAL): "When it's a critical game, he always
comes in with that look in his eyes," Brian Shaw said of
O'Neal. "You always know he's going to perform like he did
Kevin Garnett (Min): "It's like there's a heavyweight
championship belt and we're trying to take it away, we're confident.
We had them on the ropes, and they know it."
HighlightsO'Neal (LAL) 34 pts 23 reb 6 assist
Bryant (LAL) 32 pts 5 assist
Shaw (LAL): 10 pts
Garnett (Min): 28 pts 18 reb 5 assist
28 pts / Szczerbiak 15 pts
Back to the top
5: Lakers 120 - Timberwolves 90
did what champions are supposed to do
TARGET CENTER - MINNEAPOLIS. For the first time in six years,
the Lakers opened a playoff game without Rick Fox in uniform.
He will miss the rest of the postseason with a torn tendon in
his left foot that will require surgery. Fox was hurt early
in the first quarter of the Lakers' 102-97 Game 4 victory over
But Kobe Bryant scored 32 points, O'Neal added 27 and they got
great support from the role players, including 24 points from
Derek Fisher in a 120-90 demolition of the Timberwolves
that gave the Lakers a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference
The Lakers had their best shooting game of the series, going
45 for 83 (54 percent), after going three consecutive games
without breaking 40 percent from the field. On the other side
Minnesota had the worst shooting performance of the series,
going 36 for 84 (42.9 percent).
The Lakers also made 12-of-23 from 3-point range and held a
44-36 edge on the boards.
Kevin Garnett scored 25 points, but Troy Hudson finally returned
to Earth, scoring a series-low 14 points.
As the Lakers took control early, Fisher scored 9 points in
the first quarter, all on 3-pointers. O'Neal and Fisher had
16 points each by halftime.
The Timberwolves took their last lead at 40-39. But the Lakers
ended the half with a 19-8 run and put the game away by scoring
the first 7 points of the third quarter.
After a quiet first half, Bryant exploded in the third quarter.
With 7:23 left, he got going with a spectacular play, driving
past Garnett along the right baseline and coming up on the other
side of the rim for a reverse dunk that made it 73-55.
Bryant had 14 more points in the rest of the quarter as the
Lakers extended to a 94-73 bulge entering the final period.
The Wolves got no closer than 18 points thereafter.
Kobe Bryant regained some of his shooting touch, scoring his
32 points on 12-for-21 shooting.
Fisher, who had been outplayed by Minnesota guard Troy Hudson,
scored his 24 points on 8 of 10 attempts, including 5 of 7 3
Robert Horry, a clutch playoff performer who had not made a
3-pointer in the first four games, made two in a second-quarter
surge that gave the Lakers the lead for good.
The Lakers thoroughly outclassed the Timberwolves by playing
their 600th playoff game in search of their 15th championship,
while the Wolves were playing their 28th playoff game in search
of their first series win.
Minnesota coach Flip Saunders told his players to exploit Fox's
loss by getting at least 20 shots from Wally Szczerbiak. But
George replacing Fox, did a good job on Szczerbiak who finished
with 9 points on 3-of-7 shooting.
George played with confidence in his hometown and had one of
the best games of his playoff career: 12 points, eight rebounds
and six assists.
The Lakers scored 29 points off 17 Minnesota turnovers, while
committing only 7 turnovers themselves for 4 points.
Phil Jackson (LA) "To be honest with you, when you
hear an accident happens to a ballplayer and he's out, you just
pencil the guy out... we just move on... guys know the rotation
and what direction we'll go. We just talked to Devean (George)
about doing the defensive job that Rick's done for us."
Kobe Bryant (LA) "My teammates were really excited about
my dunk, a slam like that can demoralize a team and silence the
crowd. I'm interested to see it on tape."
HighlightsBryant (LAL) 32 pts 8 reb 5 assist
(LAL) 27 pts 11 reb
Fisher (LAL) 24 pts (5 3pt) 4 steal
George (LAL) 12 pts 8 reb 6 assist
Garnett (Min) 25 pts 16 reb
Hudson (Min) 14 pts 7 assist
Back to the top
6: Lakers 101 - Timberwolves 85
in a row (1st round eliminations for the Wolves)
STAPLES CENTER - LOS ANGELES. The Lakers eliminated the Minnesota
Timberwolves on Thursday night making them the first team in
NBA history to lose in the first round of the playoffs 7 consecutive
The Lakers defeated the Wolves 101-85, and so advanced to the
Western Conference semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs.
Game 1 is Monday night in San Antonio. The Spurs swept all four
regular-season matchups with the Lakers this season, but the
Lakers eliminated the Spurs in best of seven series in each
of the last two postseasons, in a total of 9 games (2001: 4-0
/ 2002: 4-1).
Kobe Bryant scored 14 of his 31 points in the first 6 minutes
of the fourth quarter, and Shaquille O'Neal had 24 points, 17
rebounds and 9 assists, just missing a triple-double. His teammates
tried to get him his 10th assist in the final minutes and he
almost got it when he fed Horry for a layup with 3 minutes to
go, but Horry was fouled by Rasho Nesterovic, resulting in a
chorus of boos from the crowd.
For the second straight game all Lakers starters scored in double
figures. Derek Fisher scored 16 points, Devean George added
12 points and 8 rebounds and Robert Horry had 11 points, 10
rebounds and 6 assists.
Garnett had his sixth straight double-double with 18 points
and 12 rebounds and Troy Hudson also had 18 points for the Wolves.
But Hudson scored just 4 after the first quarter. Wally Szczerbiak
added 14 points.
Minnesota built a 30-25 advantage in the first quarter, but
the Timberwolves had just 5 baskets and 13 points in the second
period allowing Los Angeles to take a 47-43 lead into halftime.
The Lakers opened the second half with a 10-2 run that Bryant
and Fisher capped with 3-pointers. Fisher's basket with 2:40
remaining gave the Lakers a 69-54 advantage before Minnesota
scored the final 9 points of the third quarter to get within
69-63. But Kobe outscored the Timberwolves 10-2 by himself to
start the final period, shooting 5-of-5.
That explosion was the beginning of an 18-2 run to open the
quarter that included an alley-oop dunk by Devean George off
a assist from Bryant. Two free throws by Shaq ended it and made
it 87-65 with over 7 minutes left.
The only suspense after that was whether Shaq would get his
The Lakers won their 13th consecutive playoff series, all under
Jackson who extended his NBA record to 25 consecutive series.
Jackson's playoff record is 160-56, including 49-15 as coach
of the Lakers. His 160 postseason wins are the most in NBA history,
five ahead of Pat Riley, and Jackson's playoff winning percentage
of .741 is also a record. He has coached 9 championship teams,
tying him with former Boston coach Red Auerbach for the NBA
record. Auerbach coached the Celtics to 17 straight series victories,
second-most in league history.
Kevin Garnett (Min) "I am disappointed, we did a lot
of good things in this series. But they turned it up when they
Flip Saunders (Min coach) "They scored 101 points
and their two main players had something to do with 89 of their
101 points... you look at the number of points they scored and
the 17 assists. That is a great statistic." "Kobe was
phenomenal, we doubled him and couldn't keep him from scoring."
HighlightsBryant (LAL) 31 pts 8 assist
O'Neal (LAL) 24 pts 17 reb 9 assist 3 block
Fisher (LAL) 16 pts
George (LAL) 12 pts 8 reb 5 assist
Horry (LAL) 11 pts 10 reb 6assist
Garnett (Min): 18 pts 12 reb
Hudson: 18 pts Szczerbiak 14 pts 6 reb