MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Tyrus Thomas had 21 points and 11 rebounds and the Charlotte Bobcats rallied from eight points down in the final 3 minutes to pull out a 108-105 overtime victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
D.J. Augustin scored eight points in the final 2:08 of regulation to tie the game and the Bobcats snapped a nine-game road losing streak without leading scorers Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace.
Kevin Love had 35 points and 15 rebounds and Michael Beasley had 28 points and 12 boards for the Wolves, who turned the ball over five times in overtime to let another fourth-quarter lead slip away.
Charlotte sealed the win with a 6-0 spurt late in the extra period, with Eduardo Najera scoring on a putback, Thomas converting a layup off a steal and Augustin hitting a big jumper from the wing.
After missing 11 of his first 12 shots, Augustin scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He hit two 3-pointers and made two free throws to tie the game in regulation.
Jackson was out with a hyperextended left knee and Wallace missed his seventh game in a row with a sprained left ankle. The Bobcats were also missing center Nazr Mohammed and used a starting five with three players who average 5.3 points or fewer per game.
Losing to undermanned teams is nothing new for the Wolves, who dropped a home game to the Nuggets last week despite Carmelo Anthony, Nene, Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington all missing the game with injuries.
After perhaps their worst first half of the season, the Timberwolves erased a 16-point third-quarter deficit and led by eight with less than 3 minutes to play.
But no lead is safe for them this season. The youngest team in the NBA has let plenty of potential wins slip away in the final period, including at Charlotte on Nov. 11.
Minnesota led by six with 1:30 to play, but the Bobcats used a 10-1 run to win 113-110. They had both Wallace and Jackson in that one, but this time still managed to jump out to a 59-43 lead early in the second half without their two leading scorers.
The loss of Jackson was particularly damaging. He averaged 31.5 points in his last four games against Minnesota.
Nevertheless, the Bobcats started the second period with a 14-0 run and finished it with a 7-0 spurt to take a 57-43 lead into halftime. Kwame Brown, who entered the night with two double-digit rebounding efforts in the previous 66 games, had 12 boards in the first half.
It wasn’t that the Bobcats were working particularly hard, it was that the Timberwolves were completely listless.
The best rebounding team in the league was outrebounded 9-1 on the offensive glass and Love was limited to five rebounds in the worst half of basketball this struggling team has played all season.
The Timberwolves outscored Charlotte 30-14 in the third quarter to take back the lead, but resorted to defensive breakdowns and turnovers late in the game to lose again.
NOTE: Bobcats C DeSagana Diop had surgery Wednesday to repair his right Achilles’ tendon. The team said the surgery, performed in Charlotte, was a success. His rehab is expected to take nine to 12 months. … Thomas played with tendinitis in his right knee. He drew a technical in the fourth for gesturing toward an official. … Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis said F Anthony Tolliver, who is out with a sprained MCL in his right knee, should be ready to go Sunday.
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