NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at New Orleans
(Sunday, February 8th)
Final Score: New Orleans 101, Minnesota 97
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Rasual Butler recorded 23 points and eight rebounds, leading the New Orleans Hornets to a 101-97 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Sean Marks scored a career-high 18 points for the Hornets, who have won two straight after a four-game losing streak despite playing without Chris Paul, who remained out with a groin injury. Devin Brown had 14 points, and Antonio Daniels provided 12 points in the win.
"It's a big relief to get this win," Marks said. "The last couple of wins have been big for us, good for team morale, and we can hear the crowd yelling and screaming. It's a good feeling out there."
Peja Stojakovic had 11 points for New Orleans, which overcame the ejection of David West, who committed a flagrant foul type two late in the first half.
"We knew that we had to pick it up on the defensive end once David (West) was ejected," Butler said. "We knew we had to ratchet it up at that point."
Al Jefferson had 25 points and 14 rebounds before leaving late in the fourth due to a knee injury, while Ryan Gomes had 21 points for the Timberwolves, who have lost three straight and six of seven. Sebastian Telfair provided 14 points, and Kevin Love had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
"I hope (it's not a serious injury)," Jefferson said after the game. "I don't want to think about it until I get my X-ray tomorrow. I felt a pop."
Randy Foye scored 10 points for Minnesota.
Trailing by four to start the fourth, the Hornets forged an 83-83 tie on Hilton Armstrong's free throw with 7:41 to play.
The game was tied, 90-90, after Stojakovic's jumper with 2 1/2 minutes left, and Marks hit a couple free throws with 1:13 to go to put New Orleans ahead by two.
Marks blocked Foye's layup attempt at the other end, but Minnesota got the offensive rebound, and Gomes tied the game with 49 seconds to play.
Jefferson almost made a great block on Marks on the ensuing possession, but was called for the foul. In the process, Jefferson landed on his right leg awkwardly and hopped to midcourt, where he eventually fell to the floor while writhing in pain.
"You hate to see anybody go down," Minnesota head coach Kevin McHale said. "I hope he's OK; we'll see how he feels tomorrow."
Jefferson was helped off the court, but the game was still tied with 27.2 seconds left. Marks drained one free throw for a 95-94 edge, and Foye put the T-Wolves back ahead by one, hitting a couple from the line with 16.8 seconds on the clock.
Marks' dunk with 7.9 seconds left put the Hornets in front again, and Minnesota promptly threw the ball out-of-bounds with 4.8 ticks remaining.
"We had our chances; we just couldn't get over the hump," McHale said. "We had a lead there at the end, and I thought Sebastian (Telfair) played good defense, (but) the ball just squirted out, and Marks got the dunk. We had some looks at it, we just didn't get it."
Stojakovic made 2-of-2 from the line less than a second later, and Telfair was fouled with 1.8 seconds to go to avoid a three-point attempt. He made the first and air-balled the second, giving the ball back to New Orleans, which held on for the win.
Jefferson had 11 points in the first quarter, as Minnesota led, 31-24, after the opening 12 minutes.
Minnesota led, 52-49, at halftime.
The T-Wolves led by as many as nine in the third, but the Hornets cut their deficit to 80-76 heading into the fourth.
The season series is tied, 1-1...New Orleans shot 48.5 percent from the field, while Minnesota shot 44.0 percent...The T-Wolves won the rebounding battle, 46-33.
02/08 22:25:24 ET