NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 5th (All times eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (11-21) at Minnesota Timberwolves (9-26), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Timberwolves shoot for their third consecutive home win tonight when they host the Charlotte Bobcats at Target Center.
The Wolves are coming off a hard-fought, 96-93, setback to Eastern Conference heavyweight Boston in Beantown on Monday. The Celtics' Paul Pierce scored 23 points in that one.
Kevin Love pulled down 24 rebounds -- a TD Garden record -- and added 12 points, but couldn't prevent Minnesota from losing to Boston for an eighth consecutive time. Michael Beasley finished with 19 points for the Timberwolves, who had won three of four coming in.
"It's really frustrating," said Love, who has an NBA-best 30 double-doubles. "It's tough losing games in the manner that we have. We show that we can play with everybody."
The Wolves are a dismal 2-18 as the visitor on the season but are a far more competitive 7-8 in the Twin Cities.
The Bobcats, meanwhile, finished a five-game homestand at 2-3 after a 96-82 loss to Miami on Monday. LeBron James finished with 38 points and nine rebounds in that one as the sizzling Heat notched their sixth straight victory.
Despite swirling trade rumors around him and a balky right knee Stephen Jackson led the Bobcats with 22 points and five assists. D.J. Augustin added 16 points and Tyrus Thomas had eight points and five rebounds in a reserve role for shorthanded Charlotte, which has lost two in a row.
"They kind of took everything away from us the second half," said Bobcats interim head coach Paul Silas. "We didn't execute properly, threw the ball away. LeBron got hot, and that was it."
The Bobcats were without forward Gerald Wallace (ankle) and centers Nazr Mohammed (knee) and DeSagana Diop (right Achilles). Diop will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his right Achilles, whereas timetables for Wallace and Mohammed are listed as day-to-day. However, Wallace is expected to miss at least a "few games," according to Silas.
Charlotte, which will be playing its only road contest in a span of nine games tonight, has dropped nine straight as the visitor and is just 3-12 away from the Queen City.
The Bobcats haven't dropped 10 in a row away from home since an 11-game hiccup from Nov. 7, 2007-Jan. 4, 2008 and are just 1-5 without Wallace in the lineup this season. Charlotte has, however, beaten Minnesota three straight times, including a 113-110 win in North Carolina back on Nov. 15.
01/05 10:49:10 ET