Originally created 04/29/01

Timberwolves live to fight another day



MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Garnett scored 22 points, and Terrell Brandon added 21 as the Minnesota Timberwolves got Tim Duncan in foul trouble and beat the San Antonio Spurs 93-84 Saturday to extend their playoff series.

Duncan had 15 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes, sitting out a chunk of the fourth quarter with five fouls. He avoided fouling out for what would have been only the seventh time in his four-year, 317-game career, including the playoffs.

David Robinson had 22 points and 17 rebounds for the Spurs.

Game 4 is Monday night in Minneapolis, with the Spurs holding a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five first-round series.

Duncan's fifth foul came while he was on offense and away from the ball, trying to separate himself from Reggie Slater. He left the court with 9:03 left and the Spurs trailing 73-68, but they were within 77-74 when he returned with 5:15 remaining.

Duncan promptly dunked at the end of a break, pulling the Spurs within a point.

The Wolves pushed their lead to 82-76 on a pair of free throws by Wally Szczerbiak and a 3-pointer by Anthony Peeler, who was 6-for-29 in the first two games of the series.

After a timeout, Brandon - who also had nine assists - hit a pair of pullup jumpers and a 3-pointer by Peeler from the corner gave the Wolves an 89-80 lead with 1:09 remaining.

The Wolves went on a 10-2 run to take a 64-54 lead in the third period, but the Spurs answered with a 12-4 run and pulled to 68-66 going into the fourth.

Duncan picked up his fourth foul on a drive by Szczerbiak that resulted in a three-point play, giving the Wolves a 52-47 lead with 8:42 left in the period.

Szczerbiak tweaked his left ankle during practice Thursday and played just five minutes of the first half.

Brandon, meanwhile, sprained his left ankle in Game 1, but still was able to split the Wolves' first 18 points with Kevin Garnett. Peeler was Minnesota's third player to score, about nine minutes into the game.

Garnett scored his ninth point on Duncan's second foul, which sent the Spurs' star to the bench with five minutes left in the first quarter. Duncan's foul on Dean Garrett with four minutes left in the half sent him to the bench having scored seven points in 14 minutes.

The Wolves shot just 36 percent in the first two games but made 50 percent of their shots while taking a 47-42 lead in the first half. They had never led by more than three points in the series.

Notes: The Timberwolves watched videotape of Denver's 1994 playoff victory over Seattle, one of only five times in NBA history a team has rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win a five-game series. Current Timberwolves LaPhonso Ellis and Tom Hammonds were on that Denver team, which like the Wolves was a No. 8 seed. ... Wolves coach Flip Saunders waited until after warmups to start Rasho Nesterovic rather than Garrett at center, though he used those two, plus Slater and Ellis in the first half. The four combined for nine first-half fouls. ... In their five-year playoff history, the Wolves are 4-2 when they score 90 or more points and 1-12 when held to fewer than 90.