Charlotte (11-21) at Minnesota (9-26)

By MATT BECKER, STATS Senior Writer Tuesday, Jan 4, 2011 Tipoff: 8:00 pm EST Wed Jan 5, 2011

The Charlotte Bobcats hope a game against one of their favorite opponents can help them avoid losing 10 straight on the road for the first time in three years.

The Bobcats, who are again expected to be without Gerald Wallace(notes), look to beat the Timberwolves for the eighth time in nine meetings Wednesday night at the Target Center.

Wallace aggravated his ankle injury in practice Sunday and is expected to miss a “few games,” according to coach Paul Silas. Charlotte (11-21) is 1-5 without its 2010 All-Star this season.

Wallace, averaging 16.5 points, and starting center Nazr Mohammed(notes) (knee) sat out Monday, and the short-handed Bobcats had little chance against surging Miami.

Charlotte lost 96-82, falling for the second straight time after winning its first two under Silas. Stephen Jackson(notes) had a team-high 22 points and D.J. Augustin(notes) added 16 for the Bobcats, who shot 38.0 percent and missed 18 straight shots at one point.

The loss concluded a five-game homestand for the Bobcats, who are now set to play their only road contest in a nine-game stretch.

Taking to the road for one game could still be problematic for Charlotte, which has been outscored by an average of 14.1 points in losing nine straight away from home. The Bobcats haven’t lost 10 consecutive road games since dropping 11 in a row Nov. 7, 2007-Jan. 4, 2008.

“It’s going to be a journey - it’s not going to happen instantly,” Silas said. “Instituting our system is like going back to training camp, and it’s rough. I’m kind of getting a feel for the guys as to who wants to play and play hard all the time, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Jackson, who averages a team-best 18.4 points, has seemingly played hard against the Timberwolves recently.

In three games versus Minnesota since being acquired by Charlotte in November 2009, Jackson is averaging 32.0 points and shooting 59.0 percent—72.2 from 3-point range (13 of 18).

Jackson and Wallace each had 26 points against Minnesota on Nov. 15 as the Bobcats rallied from an eight-point deficit with under 2 minutes remaining to win 113-110. That marked Charlotte’s third straight victory over the Timberwolves and seventh in eight games in the series.

Minnesota (9-26) is coming off a 96-93 loss at Boston on Monday, its second defeat in five games following a 2-15 stretch.

The Timberwolves, who squandered a 10-point, third-quarter lead, had a couple of chances late, but Luke Ridnour(notes) was called for traveling with a clear path to the basket with 10.3 seconds left and Michael Beasley’s(notes) desperation 3 at the buzzer missed.

“It’s really frustrating,” said Kevin Love(notes), who had 12 points and 24 rebounds. “It’s tough losing games in the manner that we have. We show that we can play with everybody. It’s just not being able to close out the games.”

Love leads the league with 30 double-doubles, but one of the five games when he didn’t notch one came against the Bobcats in November. Plagued by foul trouble, Love finished with 20 points and nine rebounds, and the Timberwolves were outrebounded 45-37.

Minnesota, one of the top rebounding teams in the league at 44.8 per game, is 2-11 when losing the battle on the glass.

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Wednesday, Jan 5