Wolves Take Down Hornets


MENZIE HENDERSON
Wolves Writer


Timberwolves 113 (8-24) - Hornets 98 (18-13) | Target Center


How it happened:
The Minnesota Timberwolves uncharacteristically dominated the fourth quarter and much of the second half to earn back-to-back victories with a 113-98 win over the New Orleans Hornets.

Behind 30 points from Michael Beasley and a career-high 24 from Wesley Johnson, the Timberwolves’ offense came alive and flourished in the second half, especially from downtown where the two deadly shooters combined for nine long bombs.

To overcome a sluggish start, Minnesota raised the intensity on both ends of the floor, which became contagious throughout the entire Wolves roster. All five starters finished in double-figures as the team executed a perfect inside-out game, sinking 11 three-pointers and dominating inside with 42 points in the paint.

Chris Paul did his best to keep his Hornets squad competing as he weaved and mastered his way through Minnesota’s defense to end with 22 points and 13 assists. David West led New Orleans with 23 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the second half Timberwolves red-hot explosion.

Leader of the Pack:
Michael Beasley displayed a prolific scoring outing, leading all scorers with a game-high 30 points. By pouring in 12 points in the final quarter, Beasley took complete control of the contest after nailing multiple consecutive buckets which thrust the dagger into New Orleans to end all hope of a fourth quarter comeback. Beasley did it all on Monday night, adding 9 rebounds and 7 assists to a filled stat sheet.

Rookie Report:
It’s fun to watch the rookie’s confidence increasingly grow throughout the season. Tonight, he was absolutely on fire. Wesley Johnson knew the rule tonight, as NBA analyst Mark Jackson says best...”Hand down, man down!” Johnson jump-started the Wolves in the third quarter by draining four three-pointers, including three in-a-row that electrified the crowd at the right moment inside the Target Center. Johnson tallied career highs in points and three-pointers, ending 6-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Notable Performances:
After a slow start, Kevin Love heated up and finished with yet another usual double-double performance of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Darko Milicic played efficiently, scoring 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting. The Timberwolves looked for their point guard, Luke Ridnour, to lead most fast-break opportunities and he responded with 12 points and 11 assists.

Highlight to Remember:
Wesley Johnson used his incredible wingspan to steal a pass and then immediately looked up the floor to find a streaking Darko Milicic who took off and finished with a rare authoritative slam to cap off a 10-2 run late in the opening quarter.

The Numbers Game:
Tonight marks just the second time this year that all five Timberwolves starters have scored in double figures.

Looking Ahead:
The Timberwolves will stay home for two upcoming matchups against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday and the New Jersey Nets on Saturday.


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