Hornets Snap Streak with Win Against Wolves
Mo Williams Shines off the Bench against Former Team
By Sam Perley, hornets.com
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Another rocky first quarter wouldn’t derail the Hornets this time as they knocked off the Timberwolves, 109-98, on Sunday, Mar. 22 in Minnesota to snap a three-game losing streak. Despite trailing by as many as 12 points midway through the second quarter, Charlotte started rallying before halftime and never looked back as it went on to sweep the season series against Minnesota. Mo Williams scored a game-high 24 points against his former team while Gorgui Dieng notched 16 points to lead seven Timberwolves in double figures.
Trailing by five at halftime, the Hornets opened the third quarter on a 14-4 run in the first four minutes to take a 68-63 lead with 8:17 remaining. Gerald Henderson, Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist combined to score all 14 points on seven straight Charlotte possessions as the Hornets ultimately forced seven turnovers and outscored the Timberwolves, 28-19, in the third quarter. Minnesota cut the Hornets lead to two at the start of the fourth quarter but never got any closer as Charlotte picked up its fifth win in six attempts against the Timberwolves.
Inside the Box Score
Mo Williams bounced back from a rough outing in Sacramento with a game-high 24 points for his 14th double-digit scoring performance in 16 games as a Hornet… Michael Kidd-Gilchrist notched 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting and nine rebounds and has now scored in double figures 34 times this season (only 14 times last year)… Al Jefferson also finished with 18 points and a team-high 11 rebounds for his 20th double-double of the season… Gerald Henderson (17) and Kemba Walker (16) also finished in double figures for Charlotte… Walker was also a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line and led the Hornets with a team-high eight assists and a season-high six steals… Marvin Williams and Lance Stephenson each finished with eight points for Charlotte… Gorgui Dieng scored a team-high 16 points to finish in double figures for the sixth time in his last seven games… Kevin Martin shot just 7-of-19 to finish with 15 points… Andrew Wiggins (13), Adreian Payne (13), Zach LaVine (11), Gary Neal (11) and Chase Budinger (10) all scored in double figures for Minnesota… Payne came up just short of the double-double, finishing with a team-high nine rebounds… Martin dished out a career-high nine assists… Charlotte outscored Minnesota in the paint, 52-22… The Timberwolves lost the rebounding battle, 42-32, and managed a season-low-tying three offensive rebounds compared to Charlotte who tallied 13 offensive boards.
Hornets Player of the Game
Mo Williams erupted off the bench against his former team, leading the Hornets with 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting, four rebounds and four assists. Williams was also 4-of-8 from 3-point range and has now scored 20-or-more points in nine of his 16 games with Charlotte.
Timberwolves Player of the Game
Kevin Martin tallied 15 points, four rebounds and a career-high nine assists to lead the Timberwolves. Martin has now scored in double figures in nine consecutive games and in 23 of his last 24 games since returning from a broken right wrist on Jan. 28.
Former Hornet, Gary Neal, left the game in the fourth quarter (ankle) and did not return… Cody Zeller (shoulder) did not play for the fifth time in six games… Nikola Pekovic (ankle), Ricky Rubio (ankle), Kevin Garnett (knee) and Justin Hamilton (illness) did not play for Minnesota… Charlotte has won four of its last six on the road against Minnesota.
The Hornets will finish their five-game road trip against the Bulls at 8 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 23 in Chicago. The game can be seen on FOX SportsSouth or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.