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News » Timberwolves-Bobcats Preview 2008-11-30

Timberwolves-Bobcats Preview 2008-11-30

Timberwolves-Bobcats Preview 2008-11-30
The Charlotte Bobcats host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night in a matchup of teams that have yet to win back-to-back games this season.

The Bobcats (5-11) came close to winning their second in a row in what would have been stunning fashion Saturday, falling 89-84 to Boston. Charlotte shot 47.8 percent against a team that's allowing an NBA-low 40.8 percent shooting on the season and bested the Celtics 36-33 on the boards.

"They're one of the best teams in the league," said forward Gerald Wallace, who led Charlotte with 23 points, including a layup that tied it at 77 with 3:33 left. "We had a chance to win and we put ourselves in a position to win, there are just some little things that we've got to clean up."

One of those things is ballhandling. Point guard Raymond Felton had six assists and seven rebounds, but went 2-of-15 from the floor and committed six of Charlotte's season-high 22 turnovers.

"We defended great until the end," Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. "(But) the first half we gave up 22 points on turnovers. ... Everybody played hard and they tried, but you've got to play perfect against a team of this caliber."

Felton will try to bounce back against Minnesota, as he averaged 14.5 points and 10.5 assists versus the Timberwolves in 2007-08 to help Charlotte win both meetings. He may have an easier time taking care of the ball Monday, as the Timberwolves (4-11) have forced the second-fewest turnovers in the league in 2008-09 with 198.

Jason Richardson chipped in 22 points for Charlotte on Saturday in his second game back after missing seven due to arthroscopic knee surgery. Richardson has been dominant in his last three matchups with the Wolves, averaging 31.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 56.5 percent shooting from 3-point range (13-for-23) in that span.

Richardson scored 36 points in the most recent meeting April 8 to lead the Bobcats to a 121-119 win - Charlotte's third straight in the series.

Rookie guard D.J. Augustin averaged 19.0 points while starting the last four games of Richardson's absence. He returned to a reserve role for the last two contests and scored 15.0 points per game.

Minnesota also received a solid effort from its top rookie Saturday as Kevin Love posted his first career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds against Denver. That wasn't enough to give the Wolves their first back-to-back wins of the season, as they came up short 106-97.

Eight days being outscored 35-10 in the third quarter of a 95-78 loss to the Celtics, Minnesota was outscored 27-16 by the Nuggets in the same period.

"There was a lot of frustration between us on the court," said guard Randy Foye, who scored a season-best 25 points. "You just can't let that happen. You've gotta go out there and try to get stops on defense and play together."

Minnesota allowed an average of 99.0 points and permitted only three opponents reach 100 points in its first 12 games, but has given up more than 100 in the last three.

The Timberwolves, scoring 102.5 points per game over the last four contests, faces a Charlotte team that's among the league leaders in scoring defense at 92.4 ppg.

The Bobcats have won three of the four meetings with Minnesota in Charlotte.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 30, 2008


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