Minnesota (31-42) at Charlotte (20-54)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Charlotte, NC
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EDT Tue Apr 4, 2006
  • TV: KSTC
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Trying to avoid matching their longest road losing streak in 12 years, the Minnesota Timberwolves try for their third straight victory over the lowly Charlotte Bobcats.

The Wolves have dropped 11 straight away from the Target Center, matching a streak from April 7-Nov. 5, 1999. Minnesota hasn’t lost 12 in a row on the road since March 26-Nov. 8, 1994, the third-longest such streak in team history.

Minnesota’s last road victory came Feb. 6 at Phoenix, 103-101.

The Timberwolves, though, appear to have a good chance to avoid another road defeat Tuesday. Along with the matchup with the last-place Bobcats, Minnesota defeated Golden State 106-104 on Sunday for its third win in four games.

Marcus Banks scored a team-high 24 points and Ricky Davis scored three of his 19 points on free throws in the final 12 seconds of the extra period for the Timberwolves, who won for the first time in five overtime games this season.

“This means we’re growing,” Banks said. “A couple of games ago we couldn’t do anything as far as closing out a game. Now we’re starting to put this thing together and looking forward to the future.”

While the Wolves are playing better, it’s most likely too late to salvage a disappointing season by making the playoffs. Minnesota is in 12th place in the Western Conference, 6 1/2 games out of the final postseason spot.

“These games that you win you learn from,” said forward Kevin Garnett, who had 19 points and 13 rebounds Sunday. “It’s just that: Learning a lesson. It builds confidence and character … hopefully we can carry it over.”

Charlotte, closing out a four-game homestand Tuesday, has dropped two straight to the Timberwolves since winning 102-84 in clubs’ first meeting on Jan. 5, 2005.

The Bobcats defeated Atlanta in the opener of the homestand, then lost the next two.

LeBron James scored 35 points as Cleveland defeated Charlotte 101-97 on Sunday. Raymond Felton scored 20 points, Jumaine Jones had 17 and Gerald Wallace added 16, but the Bobcats lost for the fifth time in six games.

“You’ve seen guys when it gets to this point in the season,” coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “The wagon has already been backed up to the door. We’re going to close it out like professionals.”

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