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Charlotte at Minnesota

T-Wolves snap four-game skid vs. struggling Bobcats

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Far out of the playoff picture, the Minnesota Timberwolves want to make it tougher for opposing teams still in contention.

"Our mindset today was if we aren't making the playoffs, then they're not," Randy Foye said after the Timberwolves handed the Bobcats their third-straight defeat, 108-100 on Saturday night.

Wolves rookie Kevin Love scored 22 points, Rodney Carney and Ryan Gomes added 21 each and Minnesota snapped a four-game losing streak to Charlotte.

The Bobcats, whose skid follows a team-record, six-game winning streak, entered the day one-half game behind Chicago and Milwaukee for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. Chicago grabbed sole possession of the No. 8 spot with its victory over New Orleans on Saturday, while the Bobcats fell back to 12th place in the conference.

A night after a tough home loss to Houston, the Bobcats fell behind early but made a game of it late against the Wolves, who won for only the third time in 16 tries since losing Al Jefferson for the season with a torn ACL.

The Bobcats apparently paid too much attention to Minnesota's record without its best player.

"This was a game that was more than winnable for us and we came out like we were the defending champs and they were just going to lay down for us," said Gerald Wallace, who led Charlotte with 26 points. "We just overlooked this team and took them for granted. They're still an NBA team regardless of their record and once they get going and the fans get behind them, the goal looks like an ocean to them."

It certainly did in the first half.

Minnesota made 60 percent in the first half while building a 66-51 lead at the break that forced the Bobcats to play catch-up the rest of the way.

"We were making everything in the first half," Wolves coach Kevin McHale said.

Craig Smith had 15 points for the Timberwolves, who had 28 assists and committed only nine turnovers -- one more than their season low.

"We were moving the ball and everyone was making shots and we played great defense," said Foye, who finished with nine points after missing two games with hip and ankle injuries.

After trailing by 16 points, the Bobcats pulled to 92-88 with 8:14 to play. But Carney, who returned after missing two games with a lower abdomen injury, gave the Wolves some breathing room with a 3-pointer followed by a hard dunk. He added another 3 with 2:35 to play to put Minnesota up 102-94.

"I expected us to be a little bit down, but we didn't match Minnesota's energy and that's disappointing," coach Larry Brown said.

Raja Bell scored 21 and D.J. Augustin finished with 18. Augustin started the third quarter in place of Raymond Felton, who briefly left the game with back spams, and scored nine points to help key a 19-10 run.

It just wasn't enough to overcome the first-half hole.

"We're trying to compete for something and then to come out the way we did in the first half, it shows we really don't want it," Wallace said. "We talk about it, but we really don't want it. It showed tonight."

Bell agreed.

"To come out as flat as we came out for a team that says their trying to play for something is inexcusable," he said.

Notes

  • Charlotte lost for only the third time when shooting 50 percent or higher.
  • Love led the Wolves in scoring for only the third time this season.
  • Wolves G Kevin Ollie missed his second consecutive game, tending to a family illness. McHale was unsure of Ollie's return. "I haven't spoken with him since two nights ago," the coach said.
  • Wallace has scored more than 20 points 19 times this season.
  • Smith has scored in double figures in three of the past four games.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Rookie Kevin Love continues his strong play, dropping 22 points and seven rebounds.  (AP)
Rookie Kevin Love continues his strong play, dropping 22 points and seven rebounds. (AP)

Scoreboard
Charlotte (28-38) 25262821100
Minnesota (20-46) «32342121108
CHA:G. Wallace 26 Pts
CHA:G. Wallace 10 Reb
CHA:R. Felton 5 Ast
MIN:K. Love 22 Pts
MIN:C. Smith 7 Reb
MIN:S. Telfair 9 Ast
Players of the Game
MinnesotaCharlotte

R. Gomes

G. Wallace
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
216126103
Charlotte
G. Wallace, SF468-1110-12103326
R. Bell, SG458-191-221321
B. Diaw, SF425-121-273212
E. Okafor, C314-81-25149
R. Felton, PG282-72-24506
D. Augustin, PG227-103-442218
V. Radmanovic, SF204-90-04038
D. Diop, C50-00-01000
J. Howard, PFDid Not Play
N. Mohammed, CDid Not Play
S. May, PFDid Not Play
D. Jefferson, SGDid Not Play
A. Ajinca, CDid Not Play
S. Singletary, PGDid Not Play
C. Martin, PFDid Not Play
Totals 38-7618-24371517100
 50.0%75.0% 
Minnesota
R. Gomes, PF418-194-461221
K. Love, PF349-174-471322
S. Telfair, PG332-60-01955
M. Miller, SF293-50-06707
C. Smith, PF227-81-270315
R. Foye, PG313-82-23529
R. Carney, SF278-131-120221
B. Cardinal, PF243-50-03528
K. Ollie, PGDid Not Play
M. Madsen, PFDid Not Play
J. Collins, CDid Not Play
A. Jefferson, PFDid Not Play
S. Williams, PFDid Not Play
C. Brewer, SFDid Not Play
B. Brown, PGDid Not Play
Totals 43-8112-13352819108
 53.1%92.3% 
Other Games
Utah 129 Final
Mia 140
NO 79 Final
Chi 97
SA 88 Final
Hou 85
LAC 94 Final
Den 107
OKC 95 Final
Pho 106