Minnesota at Charlotte

Bobcats' Jackson scores 37 despite injury; Wolves lose 14th straight

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It took a trip to the weight room, some special exercises and a ball of tape to help Stephen Jackson overcome a painful finger injury and break out of his shooting slump.

That, along with a friendly stretch of the schedule, has moved the Charlotte Bobcats up a notch in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGB
1x-Atlanta-
2x-Boston-
3x-Brooklyn-
4x-Chicago-
5o-Charlotte-
6o-Cleveland-
7o-Detroit-
8y-Indiana-
Still alive
9z-Miami-
10x-Milwaukee-
11y-New York-
Eliminated
12o-Orlando-
13o-Philadelphia-
14o-Toronto-
15o-Washington-
Complete Playoff Race

Jackson got hot from 3-point range (4 for 6) and scored on a variety of drives on his way to 37 points, and Charlotte beat Minnesota 108-95 on Wednesday night to send the reeling Timberwolves to their 14th consecutive loss.

Jackson, who a night earlier revealed he had been plagued by a bruised ligament in his left index finger for the past several weeks, hit 15 of 24 shots after shooting 37 percent in the previous 10 games.

"It's not going to get better until the season is over and I can rest it. But I've got to block it out," Jackson said. "This isn't the first time I've played with pain. I've played with a broken toe for three years, so I've got to just find a way to figure it out."

So Jackson came to the arena early to lift weights. He went through some exercises with strength and conditioning coach Michael Irr, then taped the fingers on his non-shooting hand.

"My left hand is my dribbling hand, my setup hand," Jackson said. "I do a lot of stuff with my left hand, so it's been frustrating the last couple of games. But I'm starting to block it out. I've made some adjustments and it's starting to come together. But there's still a lot of pain."

It didn't show against the struggling Timberwolves. Gerald Wallace added 23 points as the Bobcats shot 54 percent in their sixth consecutive home victory.

"He's a scorer," Wallace said of Jackson. "He's not going to let a finger injury keep him from scoring."

Al Jefferson scored 21 points for the Timberwolves, who came apart in a 20-0 Charlotte run in the second quarter. They committed 17 turnovers and slipped to 5-32 on the road as their long and difficult season winds to a close.

"Our team has difficulty sustaining their defense. They lose focus," Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis said. "They get away from their defensive game plan. It's inexcusable for us as a team to turn the basketball over as much as we do and also give up 66 points in the paint. That number is just ridiculous."

Unlike a night earlier, when the Bobcats needed overtime to beat woeful Washington, the Bobcats didn't have as much trouble as they continue an easy portion of the schedule. This began a five-game homestand that includes another meeting with Washington and a matchup against struggling Philadelphia.

Jackson's return to form was a good sign for the Bobcats (37-34), who moved into a tie with idle Miami but hold the tiebreaker by taking the season series.

Jackson had gone 10 for 39 from the field in the previous two games and was 13 of 53 from 3-point range in the past 10.

"Doctor said it's not going to get any better this year," Jackson said. "The best thing I can do is get ready to bear the pain and try to get it healed during the offseason."

The offseason can't come soon enough for the Timberwolves, who last won on Feb. 23.

Ramon Sessions had 14 points off the bench for Minnesota, which got little from its starting group outside Jefferson. Corey Brewer and Jonny Flynn had eight points apiece on a combined 6-of-17 shooting.

With new owner Michael Jordan not in his courtside seat for only the second home game since he agreed to buy the team, the Bobcats got off to a sluggish start.

Minnesota shredded the league's top scoring defense in building a 43-34 lead on Wayne Ellington's 3-pointer with 7:22 left in the second quarter.

But soon Minnesota went on a turnover spree and Charlotte was scoring at will in transition during a 20-0 run during the next six minutes. The last 10 points in the spurt were scored by Wallace as Charlotte built a 55-45 halftime lead.

"We let teams go on their run. We can't stop it," Brewer said. "And we don't go on a run. We stop scoring. It's tough."

Minnesota did get within five points in the third quarter before Jackson hit two 3s and Minnesota never seriously threatened again.

Notes

  • Charlotte coach Larry Brown was asked about Minnesota C Darko Milicic, whom he buried on the bench as a rookie in Detroit. "He didn't have a clue. But it didn't mean he wasn't talented," Brown said. "He's never going to be the second draft pick. That wasn't fair. But he can be a positive player for any team."
  • C Brian Cardinal was inactive in his first game back with Minnesota.
  • Rambis recalled his buzzer beater to beat Chicago in the Charlotte Hornets' debut season in 1988. "It just created a buzz around town," he said. "The attraction started then."
Copyright 2016 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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Stephen Jackson doesn't let Al Jefferson or a sore hand stop him from having a superb evening.  (AP)
Stephen Jackson doesn't let Al Jefferson or a sore hand stop him from having a superb evening. (AP)
Scoreboard
Minnesota (14-58) 3312311995
Charlotte (37-34) «30253023108
MIN:A. Jefferson 21 Pts
MIN:K. Love 9 Reb
MIN:R. Sessions 5 Ast
CHA:S. Jackson 37 Pts
CHA:T. Chandler 9 Reb
CHA:R. Felton 8 Ast
Players of the Game
CharlotteMinnesota

S. Jackson

A. Jefferson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
37532152

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Minnesota
A. Jefferson, C349-163-652121
D. Milicic, C334-82-340410
R. Gomes, SF325-101-251212
C. Brewer, SF274-100-01428
J. Flynn, PG222-74-51408
R. Sessions, PG266-112-235414
K. Love, PF222-61-19025
D. Wilkins, SG182-44-43218
W. Ellington, SG162-80-03226
R. Hollins, C70-10-00010
S. Pavlovic, SG31-10-00003
N. Jawai, PFDid Not Play
O. Pecherov, CDid Not Play
B. Cardinal, PFDid Not Play
Totals 37-8217-2334201995
 45.1%73.9% 
Charlotte
S. Jackson, SF3915-243-453337
G. Wallace, SF379-164-744323
R. Felton, PG328-100-038216
T. Ratliff, C302-51-26025
B. Diaw, PF233-80-05367
T. Chandler, C222-40-09014
D. Augustin, PG201-41-12304
T. Thomas, PF193-62-28148
L. Hughes, SG142-60-01204
D. Brown, SF20-00-01000
G. Henderson, SG20-10-00000
N. Mohammed, CDid Not Play
A. Ajinca, CDid Not Play
S. Graham, SFDid Not Play
D. Diop, CDid Not Play
Totals 45-8411-16442421108
 53.6%68.8% 
Other Games
Orl 84 Final
Atl 86
Den 99 Final
Bos 113
Wash 82 Final
Ind 99
Utah 113 Final
Tor 87
Sac 79 Final
NJ 93
Cle 105 Final
NO 92
Phi 101 Final
Mil 86
Hou 104 Final
OKC 122
LAL 92 Final
SA 83
Mem 110 Final
GS 128