NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Minnesota
(Tuesday, March 8th)
Final Score: Minnesota 102, Charlotte 97
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Kevin Garnett posted 30 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 102-97 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats at the Target Center.
Latrell Sprewell added 21 points for Minnesota, which has won three straight games. Wally Szczerbiak added 15 points off the bench in the victory.
Primoz Brezec led the way with 20 points and 12 boards for the Bobcats, who have now dropped four consecutive contests and seven of their last eight overall. Jason Kapono finished with 15 points while Jason Hart and Keith Bogans each added 14 points in the losing effort.
Trailing by two near the seven-minute mark of the opening quarter, the Bobcats used a 16-0 run to take control of the game and a 25-11 lead.
A Bogans jumper started the burst, Hart followed with a layup and Brezec continued by adding five straight points before Kapono's two three-pointers, sandwiched by a 15-footer, created the 14-point lead at 2:45.
The visitors carried a 10-point lead into the second stanza, but Minnesota crept back into the game and stayed within single digits for most of the remainder of the first half. However, Minny went into the break trailing 53-42.
The Timberwolves exploded in the third quarter, changing the complexion of the game by using separate runs of 13-1 and 9-2. The T-Wolves outscored the visitors 31-14 in the stanza for a 73-67 lead after 36 minutes of action.
"We always build a first-half lead and for some reason, we can't make shots down the stretch," said Kapono.
After three quarters of back and forth action, the contest entered the final frame with a single-digit difference on the scoreboard. Minnesota led 78-71 with 9:28 to go before a pair of foul shots by Szczerbiak pushed the advantage to nine.
Nearly two minutes later, a three-pointer by Fred Hoiberg after a miss on the other end put the margin at 83-71.
Bogans' miss of a wide open three-pointer made way for easy layups by both Garnett and Anthony Carter, which essentially put the game way.
"When you don't play defense, you don't win," Kapono added.
The only other significant play of the end of the game was the injury to Charlotte forward Gerald Wallace. He was trying to get into the lane early following a foul shot, but collided with Szczerbiak before awkwardly landing on his side. He was taken to the hospital for x-rays on his ribs.
"I just saw his crashing the boards, coming in like a madman," said Szczerbiak. "I just stepped in and blocked him out."
The hosts stopped trying in the last minute-plus, thus the final score was misleading and not indicative of a close finish.
The Bobcats have lost eight straight on the road...Earlier this season, Charlotte defeated Minnesota, 102-84, on January 5 in the first-ever meeting between the teams...Rookie Emeka Okafor finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds...The Bobcats dominated on the glass, 48-39.
03/08 23:26:17 ET