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Jackson, Bobcats send Minnesota to 14th straight loss

The Sports Network

3/24/2010 10:13:11 PM

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Stephen Jackson snapped out of a recent shooting slump to score 37 points with five rebounds, while Gerald Wallace chipped in 23 points, as Charlotte continued to protect its home court and moved closer to its first franchise playoff berth with a 108-95 victory over hapless Minnesota.

Raymond Felton added 16 points and eight assists for the Bobcats, who won for the second straight night and improved to 26-8 at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Bobcats won their 37th game, adding on to a franchise-record victory total achieved on Tuesday night, and moved 1 1/2 games in front of eight-place Toronto in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The jockeying for position also includes idle Miami, which sits tied with the Bobcats for the sixth spot.

"We have some athleticism we can utilize in the open floor (and we did that)," said Bobcats head coach Larry Brown.

Al Jefferson led the Timberwolves with 21 points, Ramon Sessions added 14 off the bench and Ryan Gomes chipped in 12. The Timberwolves are coming into historic futility, losing their 14th straight for the first time since a 16- game skid spanning two seasons from April - November, 1994. The Timberwolves have lost 20 of 21 overall, last winning in Miami on February 23.

Minnesota kept up the pace in a high-scoring opening stanza, taking a 28-24 lead on a Kevin Love three-point play with just over 2 1/2 minutes to go and holding a three-point edge at 33-30 on Jefferson's mid-range bucket.

The edge grew to seven early in the period, but the Timberwolves' play eventually reverted back to their season-long offensive struggles. Minnesota scored just 12 points in the second period, and after holding a 43-34 edge on Wayne Ellington's trey, quickly went into a scoring drought.

The Bobcats had no such trouble, running off a remarkable 20 straight points over a six-minute span. Wallace capped the flurry with a three-point play and a pair of driving layups for a 54-43 lead. Minnesota went nearly seven minutes without a point before Sessions' hook shot with 37.2 ticks to go. The Bobcats held a 55-45 lead at the half.

"It was just unbelievable. We turned the ball over a lot. We can't let stuff like that happen," said Minnesota guard Jonny Flynn of the back-breaking 20-0 flurry.

The visitors drew within five at 71-66 on Flynn's free throws nearing the three-minute mark, but again a scoring slump and shoddy defense led to an 10-2 Bobcats onslaught, triggered and capped by Jackson and Wallace. Jackson drilled one of his four three-pointers and Wallace converted a driving layup off a nice pass from Jackson for an 81-68 game. The edge stood at 85-76 after 36 minutes of action.

The margin grew back to 15 at 99-84 on a Jackson trey at the midway point of the fourth and the Timberwolves got no closer than 11 from that point on.

Game Notes

Charlotte shot 53.6 percent from the floor and made 7-of-15 treys, while Minnesota connected on 45.1 percent of its shots, but just 4-of-13 from beyond the arc...Ellington was back in a familiar area after a stellar collegiate career at North Carolina. He scored six points in nearly 16 1/2 minutes...Charlotte ran out to 24 fastbreak points and held a 66-46 edge in points in the paint...Charlotte has won six of the last seven matchups between the two clubs.