Fresh off their first playoff series win in franchise history, the Minnesota Timberwolves matched up with the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference Semifinals, with the Minnesota Timberwolves holding homecourt advantage.
But after Game 1, that advantage belonged to Sacramento. Mike Bibby scored 14 first-quarter points as the Kings jumped out to a 34-27 lead after one quarter. The Minnesota Timberwolves narrowed the gap to one at halftime, and then one again with under four minutes remaining after Sam Cassell hit four three-pointers and Fred Hoiberg one in the fourth quarter, but Bibby responded with back-to-back shots and then assisted Chris Webber's jumper that put the Kings up seven as Sacramento escaped with a 104-98 win.
Game 2 didn't look much better for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Kings led by 10 points with 4:11 to go, and the Minnesota Timberwolves faced the prospect of heading to Sacramento down 2-0 in the series. Cassell then led the Minnesota Timberwolves on a 16-1 run to close the game as the Kings missed their last eight shots. Latrell Sprewell hit a layup to start the run, after he had hit only 5 of 12 shots to that point. Garnett made two free throws, then Cassell pulled the Minnesota Timberwolves to within three on a three-pointer. He then rebounded a Bibby miss and hit a running jumper. Cassell hit another jumper to put the Minnesota Timberwolves up three, and three free throws by the Wolves and one by the Kings rounded out the scoring in a 94-89 Minnesota Timberwolves win. The comeback was the Minnesota Timberwolves' second-biggest in team playoff history.
The games went on, but in the end the Minnesota Timberwolves won. With the Minnesota Timberwolves' eighth win of the 2004 playoffs, they surpassed their win total in all seven previous playoff appearances (7-22 from 1997-2003).
The Minnesota Timberwolves advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. The opponent: the Los Angeles Lakers, who ended the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2003 season in the first round.