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Wolves aiming to clean up act

MINNEAPOLIS -- Knowing the Sacramento Kings can win an ugly game, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in the market for a makeover.

The Western Conference semifinal has whittled to a best-of-three, and the top-seeded Timberwolves stumbled home after a forgettable performance that allowed the Kings to even the series, 2-2.

Game 5 is in Minneapolis tonight, with Game 6 set for Sunday in Sacramento and Game 7 -- if it's needed -- back on Minnesota's home floor Wednesday.

The Timberwolves must clean up their offense if they're going to have success.

"We just made bad decisions," said coach Flip Saunders, who gave his team yesterday off. "We were doing things I hadn't seen in a long time."

Minnesota had 24 turnovers during the 87-81 loss in Game 4 Wednesday night, nine in the first quarter when the tone was set for a long night.

Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell, and Latrell Sprewell shot a combined 17 for 48, and the Wolves had only 31 points at halftime.

The Kings had their problems, too. Most notable of those was another not-so-productive night from Peja Stojakovic -- the struggling shooter went 2 for 10 from the field for 8 points.

But after being outscored, 16-1, over the last four minutes of a defeat in Game 2 and losing in overtime of Game 3, Sacramento finally found some grit.

"It doesn't have to be pretty," said backup guard Anthony Peeler, who played the previous six postseasons with the Timberwolves. "It's always going to be rough and tough. We just had to make sure that we sustained the tough and aggressive play the whole time."

Kings center Brad Miller, in the middle of much of the rough play and trash talking, is becoming a bit annoyed by the Timberwolves. "They don't have guys playing physical," Miller said. "Sometimes they're just grabbing, and that's frustrating. And the refs can't see it because everything is happening so fast. But you have to fight through it."

Nearly lost amid the grinding, Eastern Conference-like pace of Game 4 was the exceptional midrange shooting by Miller and Chris Webber.

Miller went 7 for 13 and scored 20 points, while Webber hit 13 of 21 for a playoff-high 28 points. Mike Bibby's shot was off for the third straight game, but he did a great job of finding Webber open at the free throw line or Miller standing on the baseline for a stationary jumper. The Timberwolves were in this situation last year in the first round against the Lakers, when they showed up for Game 5 with the series even and two of the final three scheduled for Target Center. But Los Angeles won by 30 and took the series in six."It's going to be an interesting three games," Kings coach Rick Adelman said.

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