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Garnett takes over in fourth to even series

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 23, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Garnett was criticized in the playoffs last year for not being selfish enough. On Tuesday night, he showed he can take over a game in the fourth quarter.

Garnett had 35 points and 20 rebounds, and he made four of his five field-goal attempts in the final period as the Timberwolves defeated the Lakers 119-91 to even their first-round series at one game each.

Troy Hudson added 37 points for Minnesota, which was eliminated in the first round the past six seasons.

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 getting 27 points and 14 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant, the other half of the Lakers' dominant duo, had 27 points on 9-of-28 shooting -- far below his sensational 39-point performance in Sunday's opener, when the Lakers won 117-98 to swipe home-court advantage from the Timberwolves.

Hudson's 37 points set a franchise record for a playoff game. He averaged only 14.2 points during the regular season, and his best effort was 31.

The Lakers had their most lopsided postseason loss since 2000, when the Pacers beat them 120-87 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Minnesota, which had never won a postseason game by more than nine, led by as many as 24 in the third quarter but let the Lakers creep back into it in the fourth.

BUCKS 88, NETS 85: Milwaukee fixed all its Game 1 mistakes except for one, which was just good enough to get a win.

Gary Payton scored 22, Sam Cassell added 21 and the Bucks overcame three missed free throws in the final 10.4 seconds and 11 botched foul shots among 20 attempts to defeat New Jersey and even their first-round series at one game apiece.

Payton and everyone around him had a much better game than they did in the series opener, when the Bucks fell behind by as many as 31. After being held scoreless for the first 43 minutes of the opener, Payton connected on his first three shots.

The Bucks still couldn't stop Kenyon Martin, who had 22 points and 12 rebounds, but they prevented Jason Kidd from dominating the point guard matchup as he did in Game 1.

Martin scored with 11.1 seconds left to cut the lead to 86-85, and Jason Collins fouled Cassell before the Bucks inbounded the ball. Cassell made the free throw, and Milwaukee retained possession.

Tim Thomas was fouled intentionally with 10.4 seconds left, but he missed both free throws. The Nets inbounded to Kidd, who missed an 18-footer. Desmond Mason grabbed the rebound and was fouled, missing the first and making the second to keep New Jersey in it.

But on the final play, Rodney Rogers tripped while running to catch Lucious Harris' inbounds pass. The Bucks picked up the loose ball as the buzzer sounded.

BLAZERS: Scottie Pippen's surgically repaired left knee hurt so much that he was not sure if he will play tonight in Game 2 against Dallas.

The Blazers need a productive Pippen to avoid being swept in the first round for a third straight year.

"I'm pretty sore right now," Pippen said Tuesday. "I've got some swelling. Unfortunately, I'm sort of day-to-day. It's going to be a wait-and-see type of situation."

KINGS: Forward Chris Webber will have therapy and treatment on the strained muscles in his lower back this week, and he hopes to return for the game against the Jazz on Saturday.

An MRI was negative, but he will be evaluated every day until the Kings travel to Salt Lake City.

Webber left Game 2 early in the second quarter Monday night after landing awkwardly while fighting for a rebound with Greg Ostertag.

KNICKS: Antonio McDyess had surgery on the broken left kneecap that sidelined him for all of his first season with New York.

The 6-foot-9 forward had a bone graft, and team doctor Norman Scott said McDyess would be able to begin rehabilitation in about three weeks.

GOING TO EXTREME: Former NBA stars Joe Bryant and Xavier McDaniel have a new line of work -- coaching Slamball.

The made-for-TV extreme sport is played on a trampoline and combines elements of basketball, football, hockey and gymnastics. Former 76ers president Pat Croce is a partner and commentator in the league, which starts its second season Aug. 4.

Bryant, the father of Kobe Bryant, played eight seasons with Philadelphia, San Diego and Houston. McDaniel was with Seattle, Phoenix, Boston, New York and New Jersey.

The two are "perfect additions to the Slamball coaching ranks," Croce said. "Both were famous for their aggressive play, athleticism and, most importantly, they played the game with style and heart."

WNBA DEAL NOT DONE: Lawyers for the WNBA and its players union met to put the finishing touches on a new collective bargaining agreement. The sides reached an agreement in principle Friday, beating a deadline imposed by NBA commissioner David Stern for the league to play a seventh season.

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