McCants, Hassell Lift Undermanned Wolves
Minnesota 84, Atlanta 83
MINNEAPOLIS, April 9 (Ticker) -- Trenton Hassell stepped up at a time usually reserved for Kevin Garnett.
Hassell picked up a loose ball and hit a shot in the lane with 1.9 seconds left as the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing streak with an 84-83 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Ricky Davis also missed the game for the Timberwolves.
"We were too relaxed tonight," Atlanta swingman Joe Johnson said. "Maybe it was because some of their key guys were out, Kevin and Ricky. But we just didn't bring it tonight."
The rare missed game for the nine-time All-Star snapped his NBA-leading streak of 351 consecutive games started.
With Minnesota trailing, 83-82, with 17 seconds remaining, Marcus Banks drove into the lane but was rejected by Atlanta's Josh Smith. However, Hassell hustled for the ball and scored the go-ahead basket.
"We finally got a game on a last-second shot," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "I thought T-Hass (Hassell) did a great job of stepping up and being aggressive. I thought he got fouled a few times, but the officials didn't see the same thing I did."
Hawks guard Tyronn Lue had a chance to get off a last-second shot but it was blocked by Banks.
"Lue is a great player, but there wasn't enough time at the end," said Banks, who scored four of his six points in the fourth. "He jabbed right and went left, but I was able to cut him off and get the block. I'll take it."
Rookie Rashad McCants scored a season-high 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting and Mark Blount added 17 and six rebounds for Minnesota.
"Marcus (Banks) did a great job pushing the ball up (the court) and making plays," McCants said. "Everybody really wanted me to put it up tonight. That's all you need; confidence from your point guard and your coach."
Smith, Al Harrington and Johnson had 14 points apiece for Atlanta, which shot 39 percent (30-of-77) from the field, including 1-of-13 on 3-pointers.
"We're not a 3-point shooting team," Johnson said. "We got a little too comfortable shooting threes. We had to get back to driving the basketball and making plays."