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3/13/2002 - Minnesota Star-Tribune
Houston hands Wolves fifth straight loss 96-95
3/13/2002 - Houston Chronicle
Late flurry lifts Rockets past Timberwolves
MINNESOTA GETS ROCKED
Amazing late comeback fuels 96-95 road shocker over Wolves
By Clutch
MARCH 13, 2002 9:39 PM  |  BOX SCORE  |  HISTORY VS. TIMBERWOLVES

The Rockets had already lost this game, and the Timberwolves had already counted it as a 'W'.

That was before one of the most amazing last minute comebacks ever by a Rocket squad.

Trailing 95-88 with 82 seconds left in the game, the Rockets defense stepped up and the offense came roaring back as Houston completely stunned the Wolves and the boisterous Minnesota crowd with a 96-95 win.

The win ups the Rockets mark to 25-39, while the shocked Wolves have now lost 5 straight, falling to 40-24.

The final 1:22 was as impressive as they come for the Rockets.

Steve Francis, who was not shooting well and obviously was flustered by the loud Minnesota crowd, drove and scored to make it 95-90, but he felt he was fouled and screamed obscenities at the official, picking up the tech. But Chauncey Billups, an 88% free throw shooter, missed the freebie.

Then, as Joe Smith made the inbounds, Kenny Thomas came flying out of nowhere and picked the pass clean. He was fouled going right to the hoop after the steal, and he made both free throws.

Garnett made a bad pass turning it over, and that's when the Rockets found Eddie Griffin for a ballsy triple just right of the top of the key with 44.4 ticks left. The crowd was completely silenced.

KT then made a critical play, stripping the ball clean right out of Kevin Garnett's hands as he was trying to make a power move in the paint.

Francis was fouled with just over 9 seconds left. He missed the first, but made the second, stopping to talk trash to the Minnesota crowd as the Wolves called timout.

But Minnesota was jinxed, and were passing sloppily. It burned them. The Rockets forced another Minnesota turnover when Anthony Peeler overthrew Wally Szczerbiak for a backcourt violation. Francis then outran KG as he was trying to foul him. Stevie didn't exactly take the classy way out from there.... hopping and shouting at the crowd when it was all over.

But it was a huge win for the Rockets (draft position lobbying notwithstanding).



Clutch can be reached at clutch@clutchcity.net and also can be followed on Twitter



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