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National Basketball Association
                     === Timberwolves dominate Hornets ===
 Minneapolis,  MN  (Sports Network)  - Dante  Cunningham scored  18 points on a
 perfect  9-of-9 shooting from the field and Nikola Pekovic added 14 points and
 seven  rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves crushed the New Orleans Hornets,
 115-86, at Target Center.
 Andrei   Kirilenko   and  Alexey  Shved   netted  12  points  apiece  for  the
 Timberwolves,  who  emphatically  ended  a  six-game  losing  streak.  Mickael
 Gelabale contributed 11 points and five rebounds in the win.
 Anthony Davis scored 18 points and Robin Lopez donated 16 for the Hornets, who
 have lost four straight road tilts and six of their last seven games overall.
 After Derrick Williams nailed two free throws to increase the home team's lead
 to  17-11, the offense  didn't stop and the Wolves ended the first stanza on a
 16-3 flurry which gave them a convincing, 33-14 edge.
 The lead even grew to 30 points (55-25), with Pekovic's layup at the 3:31 mark
 of  the second quarter. One night after Minnesota allowed the Lakers to put up
 68 first-half points in Friday's loss, the Timberwolves came close to matching
 Los Angeles' output, and led 58-31 at halftime.
 The  Hornets connected  on just 10 field  goals in the first half, compared to
 the Wolves, who connected on 23-of-38 shots from the field.
 Little changed into the second half, as the Wolves kept building on their lead
 and led by no less than 23 points for the entire third quarter.
 Ricky  Rubio brought the finally happy home crowd to its feet in the third, as
 he  wrapped the ball around his back on a fastbreak, faking out two defenders,
 before laying the ball in Pekovic's hands for an easy basket and 67-42 lead.
 "Both   sides   thought  it  was   a  winnable  game,"  Williams  said.  "D.C.
 (Cunningham)  shot  the ball  well tonight  and that helped.  We all just felt
 Minnesota  cruised to its much-needed victory in the fourth quarter, while New
 Orleans barely provided any sparks as the game winded down.
 "I  think  unforced  turnovers  (were  the  issue),"  Lopez  said.  "That,  we
 simply  cant  allow. It  happened in  Denver. That's  probably why the Nuggets
 won the game too."
                                   Game Notes
 Cunningham's  9-of-9 shooting  effort  not  only helped  him  establish a  new
 season-high, but it also set a new franchise record for most consecutive shots
 without  a miss ... Shved dished out eight assists and pulled down four boards
 and  J.J.  Barea dished out  six helpers in the  win ... The Timberwolves shot
 58.4 percent from the floor, despite turning the ball over 18 times.
 02/03 00:14:50 ET

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