The New Orleans Hornets are stumbling toward the finish line,
but their late-season woes have been mild compared with the
Minnesota Timberwolves’ disastrous second half.
The Timberwolves have dropped 10 consecutive road games and 26
of 28 overall going into Sunday night’s matchup at New Orleans,
where the Hornets can complete a season-series sweep in their home
After reaching the playoffs the last two seasons, New Orleans
(35-45) won’t extend the streak after struggling through a
disappointing campaign that saw star point guard Chris Paul limited
to 45 games due to injuries.
The Hornets have dropped 17 of 21, and their five-game losing
streak is their longest since a six-game skid from March 2-13,
They’ve lost five of their last six home games following Friday
night’s 114-103 defeat to Utah, but they figure to have a good
chance of finishing their home slate on a high note against the
“It’s natural to want to win the last one at home, but we still
have to go out there and play,” forward David West said. “We’ll
come out Sunday and try to find a way.”
That may require another big night from rookie Darren Collison,
the point guard who is filling in for Paul. Collison had 28 points
and seven assists against the Jazz and is averaging 18.7 points and
8.5 assists while shooting better than 50 percent from the field
since the All-Star break.
Collison’s former teammate at UCLA, forward Kevin Love, has been
one of the few bright spots lately for Minnesota, racking up five
double-doubles in his last six games and averaging 14.8 rebounds in
It hasn’t led to much success for the Timberwolves, whose only
win in their last 21 games was 108-99 over Sacramento on March
Despite a 97-88 loss to the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers
on Friday night, coach Kurt Rambis was pleased with his team after
halftime, when the Timberwolves nearly erased an 18-point
“The team that played in the second half, that’s the team I want
to see all the time,” Rambis said.
Minnesota (15-64) needs one win in its final three games to
avoid matching the worst record in franchise history, set in
1991-92, but the Wolves have not had an easy time finding victories
against New Orleans.
The Hornets have won five straight overall and four in a row at
home against Minnesota, which is averaging 93.0 points in three
losses this season.
Center Al Jefferson, a native of nearby southern Mississippi who
leads the Timberwolves with 17.4 points per game, will be available
after missing the last two games while tending to a hospitalized