Saturday , Feb , 11 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Claxton steps up as Hornets beat Timberwolves

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Speedy Claxton filled in for injured
rookie guard Chris Paul admirably, scoring 28 points and dishing out seven
assists, as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets knocked off the Minnesota
Timberwolves, 100-94, at the Target Center.

Paul missed his second consecutive game with a rib injury as the Hornets won
for the third straight game.

Kirk Synder netted 28 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field, as the
Hornets shot 46.2 percent for the game.

Ricky Davis led Minnesota with 23 points and six assists, as the Timberwolves
lost for the seventh time in the last nine games. Kevin Garnett added 19
points and 21 rebounds.

Trailing 76-67 to begin the fourth quarter, Minnesota opened the final period
with a 15-2 surge to push ahead at 82-78. Mark Blount and Davis each chipped
in six points during the stretch.

A jumper by Blount gave the T’Wolves a five-point lead at 87-82 with 3:59
remaining in the contest.

Synder then slammed home P.J. Brown’s missed jumper inside, to make it a two-
point game at 90-88 with 2:18 remaining. Claxton then tied it up with a jumper
off the left wing with under two minutes to play.

After Davis missed a long jump shot, Synder came down the other end and
drilled a three-pointer to put the Hornets up 93-90 with about a 1:30 to play.
Marcus Banks then drove to the net and scooped in a layup for Minnesota, but
Claxton answered with a running jumper for a 97-92 lead with 31 ticks left.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City then sealed it down the stretch by hitting its free
throws.

Minnesota led 53-47 at halftime as the team shot 46.3 percent from the field
in the first half. Garnett was solid, scoring 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting and
also pulling down eight rebounds at the break.

Snyder had a nice first half for the Hornets, netting 14 points on 5-of-6
shooting from the field.

The Hornets outscored the T’Wolves 29-14 in the third period, and took a 76-67
lead into the final quarter.

Game Notes

The Hornets improved to 10-15 on the road this season…New Orleans/Oklahoma
City won for the first time in the last seven games at Minnesota…Desmond
Mason scored 14 points, while Brown finished with 11 points for the
Hornets…The Timberwolves dropped to 14-11 at home this season…Blount and
Banks each finished with 12 points.

NOH MIN