CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 5 (Ticker) --
The struggles of the Minnesota Timberwolves are reaching considerable proportions.
had 21 points and 12 rebounds and rookie Emeka Okafor
added 18 and 10 as the Charlotte Bobcats snapped a
six-game losing streak with a 102-84 triumph over the reeling
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Following a listless effort in a loss to Phoenix on Wednesday,
Minnesota superstar Kevin Garnett
implored the team to have a
sense of urgency. Almost to a man, the Timberwolves talked
about putting together a complete effort.
Less than 24 hours later at the Charlotte Coliseum, Minnesota
had another questionable effort, allowing the expansion Bobcats
to score 22 of the game's final 26 points.
The losses apparently are weighing heavily on Garnett, who
lashed out at Charlotte's post-victory celebration, then turned
his attention to his own leadership abilities.
"When other teams beat us, it's a celebration, confetti. It's
like the candidacy has been won or some (garbage)," Garnett
said. "It's gut-check time and everyone's got to look at
themselves in the mirror, including me. I've got to do more and
see what the (heck) I'm doing wrong and try to be the leader of
this team. It's the only way we're going to get out of this
Charlotte (8-21) had lost four straight at home and was just 3-7
against the Western Conference. But Minnesota missed easy
shots and committed turnovers down the stretch, enabling the
Bobcats to post their largest margin of victory this season.
scored 16 points and fellow reserve Jason Hart
added 13 for Charlotte.
"We had to get back to playing the way we were at the beginning
of the year, that's team ball and playing aggressive and doing
all the little things," said Wallace, who came within a point of
matching his career high. "We don't have a superstar on this
team, no go-to guys. So, we have to do all the little things
early in the game and stay consistent and I think we did a great
job of that tonight."
"(Wallace) did what he had to do tonight," Okafor said. "He gave
us a lot of energy. He blocked shots, made steals and finished
One night after scoring a franchise-record 47 points, Garnett
had 23 and 20 rebounds. But the Timberwolves lost for the
fourth straight time overall and sixth consecutive time on the
"We're finding ways to lose and not win," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders
said. "The only thing we can do is get in there and
work harder. The only people that can get this thing turned
around is us. The guys know what the league's perception is of
added 20 points for Minnesota (16-14). Latrell Sprewell
continues to struggle, managing just four points on
"For me, I've got to play better, that's the way I look at,"
Sprewell said. "I think we know that Kevin is the anchor for
this team, but guys like myself, we got to play better, to find
a way. I feel like when I have the energy and give us what I
know I'm capable of giving us what I know we're a much better
team. And some nights it's there and some nights it's not.
I've just got to figure out a way to be more consistent."
"It's like a bad dream and we've got to wake up pretty soon and
figure out a way to get back on track," Szczerbiak said. "We're
going to stick together. This team has a lot of character and
we're going to fight scratch and claw to get back to where we
need to be."
Minnesota shot 39 percent (33-of-84), committed 17 turnovers and
missed 15-of-19 free throws.
"We're not confident right now," Cassell said. "To win in this
league you've got to be confident. We're not that confident
team that we were last year, but we'll be fine. We've got a lot
of veteran leadership on this team and we got to find a way.
Right now, it's getting real, real ugly. It's frustrating, but
we're going to hang in there together and work it out."
The game was deadlocked, 80-80, when Okafor had a layup with
4:03 left to give Charlotte the lead for good. Minnesota's
had a free throw, but Melvin Ely
had baskets five seconds apart as the Bobcats pulled away.
didn't do nothing that we were supposed to in the fourth
quarter," Cassell said. "We're not confident right now."