Bobcats 109, Timberwolves 89 (F)

MINNEAPOLIS, March 4 (AP) -- At the ripe old age of 27, Jason Richardson is redefining his game.

Always the dazzling dunker, Richardson has added the 3-pointer to his repertoire, a move that helped the Charlotte Bobcats end a miserable string of performances away from home.

Richardson had 25 points and eight rebounds, Emeka Okafor added 19 points and 11 boards, and Charlotte snapped a nine-game road losing streak with a 109-89 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

The only player other than Michael Jordan with back-to-back Slam Dunk titles on his resume, Richardson entered the night leading the NBA in 3-pointers made this season, and went 4-for-8 against the Wolves.

"I'm getting older, so I'm not getting up as high as the rim any more like I used to,'' Richardson said with a wry smile. "You have to work on your shot. ... I just want to be labeled as a complete player, not just as a slasher, a guy that can get to the basket.''

Matt Carroll scored 18 points for the Bobcats, who won for just the fifth time on the road this season and first since a 107-100 victory over the Clippers on Jan. 28. They lost those games by an average of 18.7 points, but had a relatively easy time in chilly Minnesota.

Al Jefferson had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who seemed to be turning the corner in Year One of the Post-KG Era early last month when they won five of seven.

But they lost their second straight game at home to one of the worst teams in the league, following Sunday's overtime loss to Seattle.

Minnesota coach Randy Wittman called it "as disappointing a loss as we've had in a while.''

Coming from a coach who has seen 11 losses in the last 13 games, and an NBA-worst 47 losses this season, that's saying something.

But the Bobcats, who hadn't won two in a row since mid-January, never even held a double-digit lead the entire month of February before a 12-point win over Toronto on Sunday and the thumping of the Wolves on Tuesday.

Carroll went 3-for-6 from behind the arc and Richardson's wide-open look from the corner made it 93-81 with 6 minutes to go.

"I think it has taken him some time to get comfortable in a new situation with new teammates,'' Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said of Richardson, who was acquired in a draft-night deal with Golden State. "We don't run and quick shoot as much as they do in Golden State. So, it took him some time to develop a real comfort level, but he has gotten to that point now.''

The Bobcats also went 23-for-29 from the line, while the Wolves tied season lows with five makes on nine attempts.

Wittman took the blame for the loss because he went easy on the team in practice on Monday in hopes of reserving some energy for a stretch of five games in seven days.

"Tonight we tried to have a nonaggression pact with the other team, from the first play of the game to the last play of the game,'' Wittman said. "That's disappointing.''

Ryan Gomes had 17 points and six rebounds, and Randy Foye scored 16 points for the Wolves, who outscored Charlotte 38-28 in the paint, but were lackluster on defense all game long.

"We just didn't come to play,'' Jefferson said.

All five Bobcats starters scored in double figures, with Raymond Felton adding 14 points and 10 assists.

"We haven't had that kind of chemistry during the course of the year,'' Vincent said. "So, it's nice to see the guys really picking each other up, talking to each other, helping each other.''

Minnesota used an 8-0 run early in the third quarter to take a 62-59 lead, but Kirk Snyder was whistled for a momentum-killing technical foul and Richardson closed the third quarter with two consecutive 3s to put the Bobcats back in control.

Notes: Wittman on how former Timberwolf Sam Cassell signing with Boston will affect the Celtics: "They'll be a lot louder, that's for sure.'' ... Wolves G Rashad McCants (illness) and F Corey Brewer (thigh bruise) missed the game. Wittman used the 23rd starting lineup this season, a new team record. ... Gerald Wallace (concussion) missed his fifth straight game and G Derek Anderson (right knee) missed his fourth in a row for Charlotte.

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