Lakers use late surge to rally past TimberwolvesDec 21, 2006 - 6:14 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Reserves Vladimir Radmanovic and Maurice Evans took things into their own hands.
Radmanovic and Evans led a huge fourth-quarter surge as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a 12-point deficit for a 111-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Superstar Kobe Bryant had 24 points and six rebounds for the Lakers, who received 51 points from their reserves to stop a two-game slide.
"One of the last things I said to them in the pre-game is that we were going to have to have a bench that produces if we are going to win this ball game," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They were more productive then our starters. They were very effective."
Ricky Davis opened the fourth quarter with two free throws, giving the Timberwolves a comfortable 89-77 bulge, before the Lakers' reserves went to work.
"We played well enough up executing offensively and defensively through three quarters, but then we didn't produce," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said.
With Bryant resting on the bench, the Lakers stormed back with an astounding 25-2 burst, capped by rookie Jordan Farmer's 13-footer with just over four minutes left for a 102-91 advantage.
"You have to ride the momentum. That was the team that had created it out there," Jackson said. "They had done it themselves out there. As bad a third quarter as we had, Minnesota had an even worse fourth quarter."
The duo of Radmanovic and Evans combined for 16 points during the surge as Los Angeles outscored Minnesota, 34-7, in the final period.
"(Jackson) told us before the game that the second team was going to be very pivotal in the game and we took that as a challenge and we welcomed that," Evans said. "We needed this game in the middle of a road trip without Lamar (Odom), we were shorthanded and we got it."
"We put three quarters together then we had little bit of a lapse," Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett said. "Then they got in a nice rhythm and then it was difficult to stop their momentum."
Radmanovic finished with 17 points while Evans added 15.
Lakers' second-year center Andrew Bynum was also hugh off the bench, collecting seven points, nine rebounds and four blocks. He netted four points in the critical run.
"The more time you have to be out there when everything is going right, the more and more comfortable I become," Bynum said. "The second unit guys played with a lot of energy and it was good for us to get some momentum going."
"(Bynum) did an excellent job of clogging the paint and making us become a jump shooting team," Casey said.
Garnett recorded 22 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and Davis also scored 22 points for the Timberwolves, who shot 49 percent (39-of-79) overall.
LA LAKERS 111
MINNESOTA 94 FINAL
Dec 20 10:14 PM
LA LAKERS 77
MINNESOTA 87 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 20 9:43 PM
LA LAKERS 59
MINNESOTA 57 HALFTIME
Dec 20 9:03 PM
LA LAKERS 26
MINNESOTA 29 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 20 8:33 PM
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