In the Spotlight

News & Features
The Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves
DocumentGame 5: Wolves win 98-96, stay alive in series
DocumentGame 4: Wolves lose; backs are against the wall
DocumentGame 3: Lakers win 100-89
DocumentGame 2: Timberwolves win 89-71
DocumentGame 1: Lakers sink Wolves 97-88
Preview of series with Britt Robson of City Pages (Morning Edition, 5/21/04)
Former Minneapolis Laker George Mikan talks with KPCC's John Rabe
DocumentTimberwolves advance to Western Conference finals
More from MPR
Your Voice
DocumentJoin the conversation with other MPR listeners in the News Forum.

DocumentE-mail this pageDocumentPrint this page
Martin provides unlikely spark as Timberwolves tie series with Lakers
Larger view
Latrell Sprewell of the Minnesota Timberwolves slam dunks in the first half of Game two of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2004 NBA Playoffs on May 23, 2004 at Target Center in Minneapolis. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Minneapolis, Minn. — (AP) Even without injured Sam Cassell, the Minnesota Timberwolves had the energy and attitude to even the Western Conference finals. Kevin Garnett scored 24 points and Darrick Martin had 15 points and six assists in place of Cassell, leading the Timberwolves to a 89-71 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 Sunday night.

Larger view
Image Darrick Martin

Latrell Sprewell scored 17 points and Wally Szczerbiak had 16, but the Wolves relied on their MVP to put away a game dominated by good defense and bad feelings.

There were seven technical fouls and several trash-talking staredowns in the fourth quarter. Karl Malone was ejected with 2:31 left for a flagrant foul on Martin.

Garnett closed the third quarter with a 3-pointer that helped Minnesota hold off a one-man rally by Kobe Bryant, who scored 27 points and briefly roused the Lakers from their game-long slumber.

But Minnesota coach Flip Saunders had called it a must-win game, and his players responded with all the passion Los Angeles lacked - and Cassell, who played just 43 seconds because of his aching back, surely loved his teammates' toughness in the chippy final minutes.

Larger view
Image Plenty of company

Martin, a nine-year journeyman signed out of the CBA, outscored Los Angeles' entire frontcourt in the first half - and he even got cocky, glaring at the Lakers' bench after making a 3-pointer with 3:02 to play.

Just 31 seconds later, Malone knocked down Martin, who was unhurt.

Shaquille O'Neal had 14 points and 16 rebounds, and Malone scored just five points while battling constant foul trouble.

Game 3 is Tuesday night at Staples Center. Minnesota's victory guaranteed Game 5 will be played back at the Target Center on Saturday.

Respond to this story
News Headlines
Related Subjects