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Archive for Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Timberwolves eliminate Jazz

Utah streak of 20 straight playoff berths snapped

April 13, 2004

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— With the playoffs fast approaching, both Minnesota and Utah badly needed a victory.

But the Jazz just weren't ready, and their streak of 20 consecutive postseason appearances is done.

Latrell Sprewell scored 24 points, showing some familiar feistiness in the Timberwolves' 104-90 victory over the Jazz on Monday night.

"It looked like some guys had packed it in," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "I think we showed that right away."

Kevin Garnett posted his 71st double-double -- 21 points and 17 rebounds -- for Minnesota, which won its eighth straight and stayed on track for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Sam Cassell scored 18 points for Minnesota (57-24), which is a game ahead of Midwest Division rival San Antonio. If the Wolves win Wednesday at Memphis, they get the No. 1 spot and homecourt advantage throughout the conference finals.

If the Wolves lose to the Grizzlies and the Spurs beat Denver at home that night, San Antonio will win the second tiebreaker by virtue of a better conference record. Minnesota and San Antonio split their four meetings this season.

"The bottom line is we're trying to finish the season on a positive note," Sprewell said.

Hawks 129, Nets 107

Atlanta -- Bob Sura became the first NBA player in seven years to have three straight triple-doubles, and Atlanta won three in a row for the first time this season. Sura had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds -- the last rebound coming when he intentionally missed a layup just before the buzzer and grabbed his own rebound.

Pacers 107, 76ers 93

Philadelphia -- Jermaine O'Neal scored 28 points to help Indiana set a single-season record for wins. The Pacers (60-21) eclipsed the franchise mark set by the 1969-70 team that went 59-25.

Pistons 101, Wizards 79

Auburn Hills, Mich. -- Mike James scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half as Detroit broke open a close game to win its eighth in a row. The Pistons have won 16 of 18 games, including 11 straight at home, while the Wizards have lost eight of 10.

Heat 84, Celtics 77

Boston -- Lamar Odom had 28 points and 11 rebounds to help Miami retain a chance to open the playoffs at home. It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Celtics.

Cavaliers 93, Bucks 89

Cleveland -- LeBron James gave the home crowd one more night to savor, scoring 27 points as the Cavaliers won their home finale.

Knicks 101, Hornets 97

New Orleans -- Reserves Moochie Norris and Michael Sweetney each scored 11 fourth-quarter points as the Knicks overcame a 10-point deficit in the final period.

Magic 93, Bulls 84

Chicago -- Juwan Howard scored a season-high 38 points to help Orlando snap a 13-game losing skid.

Nuggets 97, Kings 89

Denver -- Marcus Camby had 12 points, 21 rebounds, seven assists and five blocked shots to help the Nuggets reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

Spurs 78, Blazers 66

Portland, Ore. -- Tim Duncan had 14 points and 15 rebounds to lead San Antonio to its 10th straight victory as Portland was eliminated from the playoffs for the first time in 22 years.

Rockets 111, SuperSonics 107

Seattle -- Mark Jackson made a rare start and scored a season-high 25 points as Houston locked up the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

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