CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Gerald Wallace scored 26 points, set a franchise record with 17 free throws made and had a key steal late as the Charlotte Bobcats rallied to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-110 on Monday night.
The Bobcats, who at 0-4 entered as the NBA’s only winless team at home, appeared finished when they trailed 107-99 with 2:08 left. But Wallace and Stephen Jackson, who also scored 26 points, led Charlotte’s comeback.
Wallace’s two free throws with 31.6 seconds left put Charlotte ahead to stay.
Wesley Johnson missed two free throws with 3.5 seconds and Minnesota trailing 112-110.
Michael Beasley scored 28 points, but had two key turnovers in the closing minutes. Kevin Love had 20 points and nine rebounds, returning to the game late after a scary fall.
It was a much-needed win for Charlotte, with owner Michael Jordan squirming in his courtside seat in the frantic final minute before his top players came through.
Wallace didn’t get his first field goal until midway through the third quarter, but hit 17-of-19 free throws to set a team record.
Jackson’s 3-pointer was part of Charlotte’s 10-1 run, capped when Tyrus Thomas ripped the ball away from Beasley before D.J. Augustin’s driving layup put Charlotte ahead 109-108 with 49 seconds left.
Beasley put back his own miss with 34 seconds remaining to put Minnesota ahead again before Wallace hit two free throws at the other end.
Wallace then knocked the ball away from Beasley and hit one free throw to make it 112-110.
Wallace missed the second shot and Love’s legs got tangled up with Thomas on the rebound and he clutched his right thigh and crashed to the floor. The Timberwolves controlled the ensuing jump ball, and Wallace inexplicably fouled Johnson.
The rookie missed the first free throw and intentionally missed the second. Thomas grabbed the rebound and hit one free throw.
Anthony Tolliver then made contact with Wallace before throwing up a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer, but no foul was called and the shot didn’t hit the rim.
Thomas had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte, which went 31-10 at home last season.
The Timberwolves lost their second straight and for the 44th time in 50 road games, despite Beasley’s fourth straight game of at least 25 points. Darko Milicic added 13 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota, which again dressed only 10 players because of injuries.
And the only available point guard, Sebastian Telfair, is far from healthy. Walking around the past few days in a protective boot because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, Telfair had 11 points and six assists with Luke Ridnour (hamstring) and Jonny Flynn (hip surgery) sidelined.
Minnesota was also without Wayne Ellington (thigh), Nikola Pekovic (foot) and Martell Webster (back).
The Bobcats overcame 17 turnovers in the Charlotte debut of center Kwame Brown. Sidelined since before training camp with a severely sprained left ankle, Brown had three points and three rebounds in 11 minutes.
Notes: Wolves coach Kurt Rambis said Ridnour could return as soon as Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers, but he “seriously doubts” Flynn will. “I don’t think he’s physically ready to play,” Rambis said of Flynn. “He doesn’t feel comfortable getting out there right now. He had a couple of real hard workouts back to back and got very sore because of them.” … Ken Mauer hit Jackson with his fourth technical foul of the season. … Telfair was charged with a third-quarter flagrant foul for whacking Augustin in the head on a fastbreak. … Bobcats G Gerald Henderson (knee) missed his second straight game.
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