Kings 125, Timberwolves 121, OT

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Peja Stojakovic and the Sacramento Kings ran one of the NBA’s best offenses to near perfection, even with Chris Webber watching at home.

Stojakovic scored 26 of his 34 points after halftime, leading the Kings to a wild 125-121 overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

Mike Bibby scored 22 points and Bobby Jackson and Vlade Divac had 19 apiece for Sacramento, which followed a flat 109-88 defeat at Denver four days ago with an impressive performance.

“If we go through our big guys and if we are patient, we can get really good looks,” Stojakovic said.

Divac added eight rebounds and 10 assists, and Brad Miller fouled out in the extra period with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

The Kings outscored the Timberwolves 54-38 inside, with Minnesota center Michael Olowokandi limited to 26 minutes on a knee still recovering from September surgery.

“They’re a tough team,” Wolves coach Flip Saunders said. “Everyone knows they score a lot of points. They have a lot of weapons.”

Sam Cassell had 26 points and 14 assists for Minnesota before leaving midway through the extra period with a jammed big toe on his left foot.

Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota, but he missed a tying shot in the lane late in overtime. Latrell Sprewell had 23 points and eight assists, but couldn’t get a potential game-winner off in time at the end of regulation after taking two dribbles off a pass from Garnett.

“I really thought K.G. was going to shoot,” Sprewell said. “I was a little surprised. .. But I definitely should have shot it instead of trying to dribble.”

The Kings took a 100-93 lead midway through the fourth quarter on Stojakovic’s free throw that followed a technical foul on Garnett—his third in two games.

Garnett, ejected from Monday’s loss to Utah and later fined $5,000 by the NBA for tossing a ball into the stands, bounced the ball at Miller—who tugged on Garnett’s jersey while fouling him.

A minute later, Miller got his own technical for complaining about a foul called by official Derek Richardson.

Minnesota then went on an 11-4 run, tying the game at 106 with 3:34 left on a shot clock-beating 3-pointer by Sprewell.

Garnett blocked Divac’s shot twice with the game tied at 108 and was fouled by Divac on a drive to the basket at the other end with 21.7 seconds left.

Garnett sank both free throws, giving the Wolves a 110-108 lead and carrying Cassell to the bench after the jubilant point guard jumped on his back in encouragement.

But Divac found Mike Bibby for a back-door layup with 11.3 seconds remaining to tie it at 110. After Cassell and Garnett passed up shots, Sprewell couldn’t get his off before the buzzer—the third time in four quarters that happened to the Wolves in this game.

Minnesota had another chance in overtime after falling behind by five. Mark Madsen’s layup with 48.9 seconds left pulled Minnesota to 123-120, and Divac’s layup was blocked on the other end.

Sprewell was fouled on a 3-pointer from the corner. He made the first one to cut the lead to 123-121 but missed the next two with 14.2 seconds left.

Garnett got the rebound, but his high jumper bounced out. Stojakovic was fouled and made free throws to put the game away.

“We just had a little bit more effort, a little bit more energy,” Jackson said.

With so many new faces still adjusting to coach Saunders’ system and the players trying to get accustomed to one another, the Wolves struggled to find a rhythm on offense in their first four games—averaging 79.3 points.

This time, they couldn’t play any defense. Bibby and Jackson were too quick, Miller and Divac were too much inside and Stojakovic was open constantly after halftime.

“You can’t do anything when he’s hot but hope he’s going to miss.” Divacsaid. “


Webber, expected back sometime in December, will have his surgically repaired knee examined Thursday. … This was the third straight overtime game these teams played. … Minnesota PG Troy Hudson (ankle) and G-F Wally Szczerbiak (foot), both on the injured list, are expected back aroundThanksgiving, Saunders said.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
V. Divac V. Divac
8-14,  19 Pts
8 Rebs, 10 Assists
K. Garnett K. Garnett
11-26,  28 Pts
11 Rebs, 3 Assists

Team Stat Leaders