Final / 2OT

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 1/25

Game 1: Wednesday, January 25th
Game 2: Sunday, February 26th
Game 3: Tuesday, April 11th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 19th

Grizzlies 102

(49-33, 19-22 away)

Timberwolves 92

(33-49, 24-17 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    7:00 PM ET, April 19, 2006

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 OT 2OT T
    MEM 18 25 16 21 5 17102
    MIN 21 30 14 15 5 792

    Top Performers

    Mem: B. Cardinal 18 Pts, 11 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Min: E. Griffin 17 Pts, 15 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Blk

    T-Wolves' grim season ends with 2OT loss to Grizz

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves haven't had a whole lot to laugh about during this dismal season.

    So in their finale, coach Dwane Casey did something about it. He gave post player Mark Madsen the greenlight from 3-point land, and Madsen responded by going 0-for-7, much to the delight of his teammates and the few fans in attendance.

    Brian Cardinal scored nine of his 18 points in the second overtime and Lawrence Roberts added 10 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 102-92 victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

    "We were fortunate Mark Madsen wasn't on tonight," Cardinal cracked.

    Madsen, one of the team's hardest workers and most unassuming personalities, took a career-high 15 shots, making just one of them.

    "The guys were having fun with it," Casey said. "For what we've been through this season, I thought the guys deserved it. I hope what we did didn't make a mockery of the game."

    He may have done just that, but this game was a sham from the start.

    Memphis played without leading scorer and rebounder Pau Gasol (sore foot) and Eddie Jones, while Minnesota rested Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis.

    The Grizzlies wrapped up the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night and will face fourth-seeded Dallas in the first round. Some argued that the Grizzlies would have been better off losing that game.

    A loss would have given Memphis the No. 6 seed, and home-court advantage in the first round against third-seeded Denver, awarded the higher seed because it won the Northwest Division.

    The Timberwolves were in a slightly similar position on Wednesday night, which gave Casey another motive to let Madsen shoot.

    The loss guaranteed their chances of holding on to their first-round draft choice. They traded the pick and point guard Sam Cassell to the Clippers in the offseason for Marko Jaric.

    But the selection is lottery protected, and if the Timberwolves get No. 10 or better in the lottery, they keep it. At 33-49, the Wolves now can go no lower than 10th.

    "There's been so much doom and gloom around here," Casey said. "There is a rainbow at the end of the storm."

    The Timberwolves led by seven with 3:28 to play on Bracey Wright's jumper, but in a microcosm of the season, they let the lead slip away.

    Cardinal, who also had 11 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 80 with 18.5 seconds left, sending the game into overtime. He added three more 3s in the second overtime for the Grizzlies, who have won eight of nine.

    Before the game, Memphis coach Mike Fratello said Gasol's injury was "a major concern" and that the team would have to wait and see about his availability for the series against the Mavericks.

    If Gasol is healthy, the Grizzlies seem to be peaking at the right time. They've won eight of their last nine games heading into their third straight postseason. They were 1-8 in their final nine two years ago, and 1-5 heading into the playoffs last year.

    "We feel good about ourselves," Memphis forward Shane Battier said. "We feel that we have played well in April, which has not been the case the last two years."

    Eddie Griffin had 17 points and 15 rebounds and rookie Bracey Wright scored a career-high 19 for the Timberwolves.

    Neither team looked particularly excited to be in the arena, as evident by a 16-14 third quarter won by Memphis.

    Madsen chucked up five 3s in the overtimes.

    "My rookie year, I shot 1.000 -- 1-for-1," Madsen said with a smile. "Like my old teammate Greg Foster used to tell me, 'If you don't let it go, you never know."

    The fans showed just as much enthusiasm, with a crowd announced very generously at 15,934 sitting on their hands, and two wearing bags on their heads, for most of the final game of an entirely disappointing season.

    "It's definitely a relief that it's over," Griffin said. "It's been a long season with a lot of ups and downs. We just want to put it behind us."

    Game notes

    Fred Hoiberg received a standing ovation between the first and second quarters. Hoiberg retired on Monday to join the Timberwolves' front office, deciding not to risk coming back from open heart surgery he had before the season started. ... Jaric missed the game with a left shoulder contusion. ... Memphis G Bobby Jackson received a technical foul at 3:09 of the third.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 102 92
    FGM-FGA 41-92 (.446) 34-97 (.351)
    3PM-3PA 12-20 (.600) 6-25 (.240)
    FTM-FTA 8-11 (.727) 18-23 (.783)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-55 11-45
    Assists 28 23
    Turnovers 21 17
    Steals 8 11
    Blocks 9 5
    Fast Break Points 10 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 10 10

    Top Performers

    Brian Cardinal Cardinal
    Points: 18
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Eddie Griffin Griffin
    Points: 17
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3