MINNEAPOLIS -- Kemba Walker took both himself and his Charlotte Bobcats back in time with his game-winning, last-second shot that beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 89-87 on Wednesday night at Target Center.
His 19-foot jump shot with seven-tenths of a second remaining provided a fitting finish to a wild final six minutes on a night when Walker turned the calendar back 20 months -- to March 2011 to be precise -- with one 19-foot jump shot.
That was the previous time the Bobcats -- losers of their final 23 games last season -- won three consecutive games. In the past week, Charlotte earned home victories over Dallas (in overtime) and Washington before beating the injury-ravaged Wolves.
That was also the last time Walker felt the way he did Wednesday night, just like the guy he was in leading the University of Connecticut to the 20111 NCAA championship, the guy who convinced the Bobcats to select him ninth overall in that summer's NBA draft.
He was asked after Wednesday's victory if it felt as if he were back at UConn.
"Yeah, you could say that," he said. "It felt like one of those days. I hit a lot of game-winners in my college career. It definitely felt like one of those moments."
His shot over the outstretched arms of Wolves 6-foot-6 rookie guard Alexey Shved also rescued the Bobcats after they gave away a 16-point, fourth-quarter lead.
The Bobcats led by as many as 14 points with as little as 4:08 remaining in the game, but the Wolves went on a late 16-2 run that tied the game. Minnesota forward Derrick Williams made it 87-87 when he hit one of two free throws with 12.3 seconds left.
Charlotte survived the Wolves' finishing flourish, as well as Bobcats guard Reggie Williams' decision to call timeout with 38 seconds left when his team had no timeouts remaining. The resulting technical foul and Minnesota free throw cut the Charlotte lead to 87-86.
The Wolves never grabbed the lead, even though they had the ball three times with the chance to move in front.
Walker's final shot ultimately determined the Wolves would get no further than a tied game.
"Kemba has done that his whole career," Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said. "It's vintage, what he is. I'm a big Kemba guy. I know his high school coach. I coached against him when I was at St. John's, so I'm glad we have him and they don't."
What Dunlap perhaps liked most Wednesday was when Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas came to set a screen for Walker as the final seconds ticked away and Walker motioned him away.
"He said, 'This is my game,'" Dunlap said.
Walker backed down Shved and created just enough separation to get off a shot that ripped the net.
"I told him no, just let me work so I could get a clean shot," Walker said of his gesture toward Thomas. "I just happened to make a tough shot."
Wolves guard Luke Ridnour missed a long desperation 3-pointer at the final buzzer.
The Bobcats are now 4-3 after they won just seven of 66 games last season.
The Wolves fell to 5-3 on a night when they started with six players out injured and then lost second-year guard Malcolm Lee to cramps in the game's final minutes. That left them with just eight healthy players. They shot just 38 percent against a young Bobcats team that protected the rim fiercely all night, to the tune of 12 blocked shots, including nine in the first half.
The Wolves didn't help themselves when they made just 20 of 37 free throws.
"Tough loss," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "We needed to play the start of the game the way we played the fourth quarter, and we didn't do that. We didn't play with the energy we needed to. We gave ourselves a chance, but the guy (Walker) made a tough shot."
NOTES: Wolves management met Wednesday afternoon to discuss signing a free agent small forward to back up starter Andrei Kirilenko, who played 44 minutes Wednesday for the second consecutive game. President of basketball operations David Kahn said no decision was made. The Wolves have been talking actively to agents seeking a player who would accept a veteran's minimum salary, and they have pursued Mickeal Pietrus and Josh Howard, among others. They worked out Howard on Monday while the team was in Dallas for a game against the Mavericks. ... Injured Wolves forward Kevin Love said he would have his broken hand X-rayed in Minnesota and that the images would be sent to a New York City specialist. He's hopeful he'll receive approval to begin strengthening the hand and shooting. He's targeting making his season debut in early December. ... The Wolves aren't the only ones missing players: Bobcats guard Ben Gordon missed his second consecutive because of what the team called a family matter. Backcourt mate Gerald Henderson missed his fifth consecutive game because of a sprained left foot.