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mavsfanforever
03-23-2004, 10:12 PM
MINNEAPOLIS, March 23 (Ticker) -- The MVP matchup between Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan was settled by a guy averaging 1.9 points per game.

Ervin Johnson forced and won a jump ball with Duncan in the final seconds, helping the Minnesota Timberwolves hold on for a pivotal 86-81 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

The duel between Duncan, who has won the last two NBA MVP awards, and Garnett, who is the favorite this year, lived up to the hype. Duncan had 26 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks, while Garnett had 27, 10, four and three.

For most of the game, the superstars did not defend each other. Down the stretch, the chore of guarding Duncan fell to Johnson, a defensive-minded veteran.

The Spurs trailed, 83-81, when they tracked down the offensive rebound of Hedo Turkoglu's missed 3-pointer with 23 seconds to go and went to Duncan in the low post. As Duncan spun to the basket, Johnson slapped the ball away, and the big men grappled for it on the floor.

On the ensuing jump ball with 15 seconds left, Johnson tapped the ball toward the baseline. It bounced off teammate Trenton Hassell and right back to Johnson, who again went to the floor to gain possession and came up with it this time.

Sam Cassell made two free throws for an 85-81 lead with nine seconds remaining and Garnett added a foul shot, giving Minnesota its third straight win since a loss to San Antonio five days ago.

Johnson had eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks for the Wolves (49-22), who moved three games in front of the Spurs (46-25) atop the Midwest Division with 11 to play.

bernardos70
03-24-2004, 01:09 AM
Anyone see the highlights? They gave Garnett a block when it really was a goaltending (the ball was clearly on its way down) on a Duncan shot that would have given the Spurs the lead. Anyway, good for the Mavs that haven't really lost ground to the spurs after we pathetically lost to the 76ers.

SaltwaterChaffy
03-24-2004, 02:07 AM
ummm...I just watched the highlight, and yes, KG goaltended on that play, but the spurs were down 23-18 with about 3 minutes left in the 1st quarter. Not really that much in the grand scheme of things.

bernardos70
03-24-2004, 02:38 AM
Hmmm, I thought that was way later on the game. Damn ESPNEWS hosts don't point it out! i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

Spurs Fan
03-24-2004, 09:31 AM
Like every fan, I hate for my team to lose. The 'Wolves came to play last night, and my team didn't show up until the second quarter. Congrats to KG, Cassell, Spree, et. al. Awesome game. It damn sure looked like a playoff game from my couch.

Although I'd like for the Spurs to win the Midwest, and that 2nd seed, it looks tougher after last night. Not impossible, but tougher.

I still like the Spurs chance against the 'Wolves in a 7 game series. i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

Big Boy Laroux
03-24-2004, 10:21 AM
the goaltend in question came late in the game. score was tied at 81, 2:17 left.

SaltwaterChaffy
03-24-2004, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by: Big Boy Laroux
the goaltend in question came late in the game. score was tied at 81, 2:17 left.


Yeah, I watched the ESPNNews highlight, and I saw a goaltend by Garnett on a Duncan shot that occured in the first quarter. Later, I saw the NBA Fastbreak highlight, and I saw another goaltend by Garnett on a Duncan shot, this time being in the fourth quarter. Sorry for my mistake Bernardos.

Big Boy Laroux
03-24-2004, 02:54 PM
no big deal. i just saw the highlight on ESPNMotion, and the fox sports info was at the top of the screen.