Hornets visit Twin Cities to face T-wolves

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets look to remain within striking distance of a playoff spot when they continue a five-game trek Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center.

The Hornets have lost three in a row to start this trip and are only 1-5 since a five-game winning streak.

Charlotte sits only a half-game off the eighth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference and is coming off Friday's 101-91 defeat at the hands of the Sacramento Kings. Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker scored 20 and 18 points, respectively, for the Hornets.

Al Jefferson recorded 17 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 13.

"We played at a frustrated level," Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said. "And we got outworked a little bit."

Sacramento had a 48-36 advantage on the boards and was led by Rudy Gay's 33 points. Kings stud center DeMarcus Cousins did not play because of a calf issue and the Hornets still struggled, making 39.6 percent of their shots.

Hornets forward Cody Zeller returned from a four-game absence due to a shoulder injury and only scored one point with six rebounds and four assists.

Charlotte is 13-20 on the road and will close the trip Monday at Chicago.

The Timberwolves aim for back-to-back victories when they host the Hornets Sunday and ended a six-game slide with Thursday's 95-92 overtime decision against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Minnesota scored 10 of the 17 points in the extra period and was paced by Kevin Martin's 22 points on just 8-of-26 shooting. Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine scored 20 points apiece, while Gorgui Dieng ended with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the T-wolves, who won for the second time in 12 tries.

"We look at it as a game and we want to be better than that team, so don't matter if it's first or last place, we're going to play the same way," LaVine said.

New York outscored Minnesota by a 23-15 margin in the third quarter to make it a 69-69 game. Wiggins made a layup to give the Timberwolves an 85-83 lead with 1:01 left in regulation. Following an empty possession for each team, Alexey Shved made two free throws to tie things up.

Martin's jumper was off the mark at the buzzer, forcing overtime.

The Wolves, who have a banged-up roster at the moment, are 9-25 at Target Center and will visit Utah Monday.

Wolves forwards Kevin Garnett (knee) and Justin Hamilton (migraines) are doubtful Sunday. Guard Gary Neal (hand) is listed as questionable and point guard Ricky Rubio (ankle) is probable. Center Nikola Pekovic (ankle) is out indefinitely.

Charlotte is 12-4 in the last 16 meetings with Minnesota.