NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at LA Lakers
(Wednesday, January 19th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 93, Minnesota 90
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Chucky Atkins poured in 25 points and dished out a season-high 11 assists to lead the Los Angeles Lakers over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 93-90, at Staples Center.
Caron Butler scored 16 points, while Jumaine Jones added 12 along with eight rebounds for the Lakers, who have won three of their last four and five of seven.
Minnesota was led by Kevin Garnett, who netted 27 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Latrell Sprewell tallied 23 in the loss. The Timberwolves have lost five of their last seven contests and dropped their third in a row to the Lakers.
In a furious final two minutes with the game knotted at 88-88, Wally Szczerbiak put the T'Wolves up by a deuce after an attempted lay-in was whistled for goaltending by Jones.
After being fouled, Jones sank one of two from the line. Sprewell's three- point attempt on the ensuing possession was off the mark, resulting in a Lakers rebound. Butler then drove baseline for a tough lay-in to give the Lakers a 91-90 lead with 35 ticks remaining.
Minnesota came up short on their next possession when Garnett's baseline jumper rattled off the front of the rim and into the hands of Jones, who was immediately fouled. He promptly made the pair of free throws to put LA up, 93-90.
Sprewell's desperation heave with under five seconds left banged off the back iron and was batted to the backcourt, where Troy Hudson's last gasp was off line.
"This was a blood, sweat, and tears victory," said Lakers head coach Rudy Tomjonavich. "Lamar was in foul trouble early. Chucky was phenomenal and we have to praise him for being our young-old man. Brian Grant gave us a big lift off the bench."
The T'Wolves started slow in the third frame, going the first 3:09 without a field goal before Sprewell ended the drought with a jumper in transition. He went on to score the next six points for Minnesota, giving them a 59-53 lead.
Sasha Vujacic's jumper as time expired in the third sent the Lakers down a pair, 67-65, heading into the final stanza.
Atkins put the Lakers up 74-73 when he connected on a three-point jumper with a little over eight minutes remaining in the contest.
Trailing 78-75, the T'Wolves answered with a quick 7-0 spurt to regain a four- point advantage. Szczerbiak capped the flurry with a driving layup at the 5:39 mark.
Minnesota, behind 12 second quarter points by Sprewell, took a 49-46 advantage into the half.
The Lakers claimed a two-point lead, 23-21, after the first quarter. Lamar Odom grabbed six boards in the frame and Atkins dished out six assists.
Odom spent most of the game in foul trouble as he picked up his fourth early on in the third quarter. He finished with 11 points and seven rebounds...Minnesota went 1-of-14 from beyond the arc...The Lakers shot 60 percent (6-of-10) from three-point range...The T'Wolves outrebounded the Lakers 41-38...LA improved to 3-1 since the injury to Kobe Bryant.
01/20 01:48:12 ET