Wolves, Bobcats tussle in Charlotte

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Timberwolves are playing well of late, but are running out of time in their quest for a playoff spot.

The Timberwolves will try to keep up the good play Friday on the road against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Minnesota has won eight of its last 11 games and sits 5 1/2 games off a postseason spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. In a 112-101 victory versus Milwaukee Tuesday in the finale of a four-game homestand (2-2), Kevin Love had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Kevin Martin netted 26 and J.J. Barea finished with 19 off the bench.

Nikola Pekovic added 14 points and eight boards for the Wolves, who shot 48 percent and rallied from an early 33-22 hole. Pekovic capped an 18-3 run later on to give Minnesota a 105-88 lead with about five minutes to go.

Wolves coach Rick Adelman knows his team played down to Milwaukee's level.

"We were too soft. They made shots, but we let them go wherever they wanted to go," Adelman said.

The Wolves are now 29-16 when scoring 100-plus points and will try to extend their road winning streak to four games. They have a 14-18 record outside the Target Center.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats are seventh in the Eastern Conference and haven't been to the playoffs since their only appearance in 2009-10.

Charlotte has won two straight, four of five and eight of the last 12 games, including Wednesday's 98-85 victory at Washington thanks to another productive game by Al Jefferson. Jefferson ended with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and is averaging 26.8 points and 9.8 boards in the last eight games.

Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson scored 16 and 13 points, respectively, while the hyphenated duo of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 10 points apiece for Charlotte, which put the game away in the fourth quarter by scoring 29 of the 48 points.

"I think we're starting to realize that we're a really good team. We're not the same Bobcats as the past," Walker said.

The Bobcats, who are allowing just 97.2 ppg this season, will try to push their home winning streak to eight games Friday and have an 18-14 record as the host. They are averaging 103.9 points during the home winning streak, which is tied for the second longest in team history.

Charlotte faced Minnesota back on Jan. 10 in the Twin Cities and sustained a 119-92 setback. Pekovic scored 26 points and both Love and Martin added 19 in that one for the T'Wolves. Jefferson had just eight points and seven boards for the Bobcats, who have still won 10 of the last 14 meetings in this series.

Minnesota is winless in five of six trips to Charlotte.

Friday's game between the Wolves and Bobcats features some of the best big men in Jefferson, Love and Pekovic. Jefferson will try to have a better showing this time around after being shut down back in January.