NBA Basketball

106
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Minnesota 25 26 27 28 106
Charlotte 25 29 27 32 113
113
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)00:0019:00 ET5:00 PM CT22:00 , March 21, 2019
Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina  Attendance: 15,576

Timberwolves, Hornets both need late runs for playoff spot

According to STATS
According to STATS

Minnesota Timberwolves at Charlotte Hornets

  1. The Timberwolves have lost four straight after falling to the Warriors on Tuesday, 117-107. Minnesota has lost eight straight on the road, tied for the longest active streak in the NBA (Dal), and tied for the team's longest such streak of the season.
  2. Andrew Wiggins went 8-of-19 (.421) from the field and 1-of-8 from three in the loss to Golden State. Wiggins missed three games between March 9-12 -- in his three games since returning he is shooting 37.7 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from beyond the arc.
  3. The Hornets lost to the Sixers on Tuesday, 118-114, falling to 4-9 since the All-Star break. Only the Mavericks (2-12), Knicks and Lakers (both 3-11) have been worse post-break.
  4. Jeremy Lamb led the Hornets in scoring with 26 points off the bench. Lamb has started 55 games this season and has come off the bench 12 times, shooting 33.5 percent from three as a starter compared to 37.3 percent off the bench.
  5. Charlotte has lost three of its last four games against Minnesota after winning the previous six. The Timberwolves won, 121-104, when these teams met this season on December 5, out-rebounding the Hornets by 10.
  6. Both of these teams limit turnovers well with Charlotte averaging 12.7 (second fewest) and Minnesota averaging 13.2 (fourth fewest). The Hornets have 18 games with 10 or fewer turnovers, second most in the NBA (SA -- 26).

The Charlotte Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves have nearly identical records. One is still battling for a playoff spot; the other is all but eliminated.

Just don't tell Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns the odds as his team heads into a game at Charlotte on Thursday night.

"We have to keep playing as if we're going to make it," Towns said in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune after the Timberwolves lost their fourth consecutive game, 117-107 to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. "There is still a mathematical chance. I know it sounds corny, but it's true."

Yes, he's technically right, but a bunch of crazy stuff would have to happen for Minnesota (32-39) to find its way into the playoffs in the loaded Western Conference.

Meanwhile, Charlotte (31-39) needs only some mildly interesting scenarios to play out in the East, but part of that is taking care of its own business, which is something the Hornets have failed to do recently.

Charlotte is going in the wrong direction, having lost four of five games, including a 118-114 home loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Jeremy Lamb could have tied the game in the final seconds but missed a driving layup that bounced around the rim. The Sixers sealed the game with two free throws.

An example of the Hornets' pain: They went 0-4 against Philadelphia this season, falling by a total of 10 points -- twice in overtime.

"It was a tough loss and another close game," Charlotte coach James Borrego said in his postgame press conference.

"The guys battled again, against a very good team. We've been battling this team all season. We've been right there with this team; the same type of game tonight.

"I thought we played well enough to get this win, we just couldn't close it out. I think we got great looks. We got better looks than they got down the stretch. Their shots were tough. ... We had two wide-open 3s and a layup and we didn't win the game, so give Philly credit. We'll keep marching on."

The Hornets are 4-11 in their past 15 games, with three of the victories coming against the Washington Wizards. Charlotte is 10th in the East, falling three games back of eighth-place Miami after Tuesday night.

"Gotta keep searching for answers and keep digging," Borrego said.

All-Star guard Kemba Walker continues to lead the way for Charlotte, averaging 24.9 points and 5.7 assists.

But it is Towns, a 23-year-old 7-footer, who is playing at an other-worldly level.

He averaged 30.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists in February, extending that tear into March, when he is putting up 30.1 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

Towns had 26 points with 21 rebounds in Tuesday's loss to the Warriors -- his sixth 20-20 of the season. He needs 10 points to pass Kevin Love (6,989 points) and move into fourth place on the franchise's career scoring list.

Minnesota is 9-28 on the road. Only five other NBA teams have failed to reach double-digit road victories.

"Whether we make the playoffs or not, this is our job to go out there and compete every night and fight," forward Andrew Wiggins said in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. "We're all family here, and you want to fight for your family."

--Field Level Media

Updated March 20, 2019

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