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Walker, Bridges lead Hornets past Timberwolves, 113-106

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Miles Bridges had plenty of reasons to party.

He turned 21 years old, his college team, Michigan State, won its first-round game in the NCAA Tournament and he recorded his first career NBA double-double.

So what was the rookie going to do to celebrate?

''Go to bed,'' Bridges said with a smile.

Kemba Walker scored 31 points, Bridges had 11 points and 12 rebounds and the Charlotte Hornets handed the Minnesota Timberwolves their fifth straight loss, 113-106 on Thursday night.

''I think I need to celebrate my birthday every game. I was just trying to get the rebounds and stay aggressive,'' Bridges said. ''That's what got me going today.''

Jeremy Lamb added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who won for only the fifth time in the last 16 games.

Hornets coach James Borrego turned to his youth after entering the night 3 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference and with the team's playoff hopes fading fast.

Second-year player Dwayne Bacon got the start over Nic Batum, who earns $24 million per season. Bridges continued to start while rookie Devonte Graham and second-year pro Malik Monk also saw extended action, as did young center Willy Hernangomez.

Youth was served as Charlotte outscored Minnesota 17-6 on fast-break points.

''We are trying to win games,'' Borrego said. ''This isn't throw in the towel, we're out of the playoffs. There isn't any of that going on right now. Number one, we're going after every single win. But I wanted to take a look at some different combinations and some different bodies out there.''

Borrego said nothing is set in stone moving forward when it comes to his rotation.

Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 21 points and 16 rebounds.

Towns came in averaging 30.1 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists this month after averaging 30.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists in February. But the Hornets were determined not to let him beat them, swarming with the 7-foot, two-time All-Star center with multiple players almost every time he got the ball in the second half.

He finished 7 of 17 from the field and had six assists and four turnovers.

''They were throwing three guys at me on the pass, so I was just trying to make plays, just being aggressive at the end,'' Towns said. ''They're guarding me different. They're guarding me with a lot of respect, so I've got to go out there and make plays.''

Said Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders: ''That is something that we expect from the level that Karl has played at and we expect that. We are going to continue to get better as a team. We will learn from that in terms of getting help in areas and also making plays out of there, too.''

Charlotte built its first double-digit lead at 96-86 midway through the fourth quarter when Walker went coast-to-coast and scored on a Eurostep layup between two defenders. The Timberwolves never mounted a serious challenge after that point.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Towns passed Kevin Love (6,989 points) to move into fourth place on the franchise's career scoring list.

Hornets: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sat out with a concussion. He is out indefinitely. ... Bench outscored Minnesota 46-26.

MONK CONTRIBUTES

Monk was finally a factor again for the Hornets, scoring 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. This season has been a struggle for shooting guard from Kentucky who has seen his playing time reduced because of his defense.

''My first shot went in, so I knew it was going to be a pretty good night,'' Monk said. ''Coach has been telling me to be ready. You never know when your name is going to be called. The whole team has been telling me that. I've just been coming in late at night and getting shots up, coming in early getting shots up and it worked tonight.''

WIGGINS ON THE DRIVE

Andrew Wiggins finished with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting and fared well driving to the hole.

''I feel like I started the game aggressive trying to get downhill,'' Wiggins said. ''I feel like that helped me in the long run.''

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Visit Grizzlies on Saturday night.

Hornets: Host Celtics on Saturday night.

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Key Players
K. Towns
32 C
K. Walker
15 PG
34.8 Min. Per Game 34.8
24.9 Pts. Per Game 24.9
5.7 Ast. Per Game 5.7
4.3 Reb. Per Game 4.3
52.2 Field Goal % 42.9
52.4 Three Point % 42.7
83.2 Free Throw % 83.3
  Defensive rebound by Miles Bridges 0:09
  Andrew Wiggins missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:14
+ 1 Kemba Walker made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:19
+ 1 Kemba Walker made 1st of 2 free throws 0:19
  Personal foul on Tyus Jones 0:19
  Personal foul on Keita Bates-Diop 0:20
+ 3 Karl-Anthony Towns made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tyus Jones 0:35
  Defensive rebound by Dario Saric 0:41
  Jeremy Lamb missed fade-away jump shot 0:45
  CHA team rebound 0:50
  Jeremy Lamb missed driving layup, blocked by Josh Okogie 0:50
Team Stats
Points 106 113
Field Goals 39-88 (44.3%) 43-100 (43.0%)
3-Pointers 10-28 (35.7%) 9-29 (31.0%)
Free Throws 18-29 (62.1%) 18-24 (75.0%)
Total Rebounds 61 62
Offensive 9 15
Defensive 40 40
Team 12 7
Assists 23 26
Steals 6 5
Blocks 7 6
Turnovers 13 10
Fouls 21 24
Technicals 0 1
21 PTS, 16 REB, 6 AST
31 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST
1234T
away team logo Timberwolves 32-40 25262728106
home team logo Hornets 32-39 25292732113
Team Stats
away team logo Timberwolves 32-40 112.4 PPG 45.3 RPG 24.5 APG
home team logo Hornets 32-39 110.7 PPG 44.3 RPG 23.1 APG
Key Players
K. Towns C 24.7 PPG 12.5 RPG 3.3 APG 52.4 FG%
K. Walker PG 25.0 PPG 4.4 RPG 5.8 APG 42.6 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Towns C 21 PTS 16 REB 6 AST
K. Walker PG 31 PTS 5 REB 6 AST
44.3 FG% 43.0
35.7 3PT FG% 31.0
62.1 FT% 75.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Towns 21 16 6 7/17 2/4 5/6 3 34 1 2 4 3 13 -7 48
A. Wiggins 20 5 2 8/15 1/3 3/7 2 37 1 0 3 2 3 +1 27
D. Saric 15 7 1 5/10 2/3 3/4 3 28 0 0 1 3 4 -3 23
T. Jones 14 2 7 6/15 1/3 1/1 3 34 2 0 1 0 2 -9 31
J. Okogie 10 3 2 5/11 0/4 0/2 2 32 0 2 0 0 3 -5 19
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Towns 21 16 6 7/17 2/4 5/6 3 34 1 2 4 3 13 -7 48
A. Wiggins 20 5 2 8/15 1/3 3/7 2 37 1 0 3 2 3 +1 27
D. Saric 15 7 1 5/10 2/3 3/4 3 28 0 0 1 3 4 -3 23
T. Jones 14 2 7 6/15 1/3 1/1 3 34 2 0 1 0 2 -9 31
J. Okogie 10 3 2 5/11 0/4 0/2 2 32 0 2 0 0 3 -5 19
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Dieng 10 5 0 2/5 0/0 6/9 1 15 2 2 2 0 5 -3 17
A. Tolliver 6 6 1 2/5 2/5 0/0 2 18 0 0 1 1 5 +1 13
C. Reynolds 6 2 1 2/4 2/4 0/0 1 8 0 0 0 0 2 -2 10
J. Bayless 2 1 3 1/4 0/1 0/0 2 15 0 0 1 0 1 -2 8
K. Bates-Diop 2 2 0 1/2 0/1 0/0 2 15 0 1 0 0 2 -6 5
D. Rose - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Gibson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Teague - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Covington - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Terrell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Deng - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 106 49 23 39/88 10/28 18/29 21 236 6 7 13 9 40 -35 201
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Walker 31 5 6 10/22 1/8 10/12 2 35 0 0 5 1 4 +6 43
M. Williams 13 3 0 5/6 3/4 0/0 3 25 2 3 0 1 2 +7 21
M. Bridges 11 12 4 5/8 1/1 0/0 0 30 2 0 0 1 11 +1 33
B. Biyombo 8 4 1 4/6 0/0 0/0 3 15 0 0 0 1 3 -5 14
D. Bacon 4 5 5 1/8 0/0 2/2 2 18 1 0 0 2 3 +2 20
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Walker 31 5 6 10/22 1/8 10/12 2 35 0 0 5 1 4 +6 43
M. Williams 13 3 0 5/6 3/4 0/0 3 25 2 3 0 1 2 +7 21
M. Bridges 11 12 4 5/8 1/1 0/0 0 30 2 0 0 1 11 +1 33
B. Biyombo 8 4 1 4/6 0/0 0/0 3 15 0 0 0 1 3 -5 14
D. Bacon 4 5 5 1/8 0/0 2/2 2 18 1 0 0 2 3 +2 20
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
M. Monk 14 4 0 5/10 4/7 0/0 4 18 0 0 2 0 4 0 16
J. Lamb 13 10 1 6/20 0/2 1/1 1 28 0 0 1 4 6 +3 24
W. Hernangomez 10 7 2 5/6 0/1 0/1 5 23 0 0 1 3 4 +6 20
D. Graham 5 0 5 1/3 0/1 3/6 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 +1 15
N. Batum 2 4 0 1/5 0/3 0/0 3 23 0 1 1 1 3 +10 6
F. Kaminsky 2 1 2 0/6 0/2 2/2 1 8 0 2 0 1 0 +4 9
S. Mack - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Kidd-Gilchrist - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Zeller - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Chealey - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Macura - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Parker - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 113 55 26 43/100 9/29 18/24 24 235 5 6 10 15 40 +35 221