Timberwolves' rally falls short thanks to Mohammed's dunk

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nazr Mohammed was trying desperately for his career-best 21st rebound. His 21st point of the game was even more important.

With time running out and Charlotte trailing by a point, Mohammed couldn't corral Boris Diaw's missed shot. But Minnesota Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer saved the ball, which landed in the hands of Mohammed, whose game-winning dunk gave the Bobcats a 93-92 victory Wednesday night.

Stephen Jackson scored a game-high 33 points, but only two in a fourth quarter that required Mohammed's good fortune.

"That save really gave us the game," Jackson said. "We've got to play a lot better than what we played in that fourth quarter."

After falling behind by 21 in the second quarter, Minnesota trimmed the lead to 10 points after three before going on a furious fourth-quarter rally. The Timberwolves outscored Charlotte 22-13 in the final frame and took a three-point lead on Al Jefferson's jump-hook with less than a minute to play.

Diaw cut the deficit to a point with a layup 7 seconds later, leading to Mohammed's decisive dunk.

Wayne Ellington's 30-footer bounced harmlessly off the rim at the buzzer.

"Normally you don't want to throw the ball back under your opponent's basket," Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis said. "But we also had three players who were standing around 20 feet from the basket and not one of them made a move to the basket when the shot went up.

"That timeout before, I mentioned to them that they were one rebound away from a win and all they had to do was find a way to get that rebound. They couldn't come up with it."

While Jackson and his season-high tying four 3-pointers led the way for Charlotte, Mohammed scored 21 points and tied a career-high with 20 rebounds for his first career 20-20 game. It was also Mohammed's third double-double in his last seven contests.

Diaw added 15 points and D.J. Augustin scored 12 in his first start of the season in place of an injured Raymond Felton.

Jefferson scored 19 points for Minnesota, while Ryan Gomes chipped in 15 points. Ramon Sessions and Ellington also finished in double figures with 13 points apiece.

Already without Felton due to a sprained right ankle, Charlotte also overcame an off-night for Gerald Wallace. The franchise's first All-Star shot just 1 for 9 and finished with five points to go with nine rebounds.

Still, the Bobcats shot 60 percent and 6 of 9 from the 3-point line in the first quarter and continued to surge early in the second. But Minnesota ended the half on a 10-5 run capped by a pair of 3-pointers from Ellington, starting the comeback.

"We stopped moving the ball," Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. "We started settling, taking bad shots. But you know for a young team they didn't give up, and [Rambis] went with his bench."

The Timberwolves bench outscored their counterparts 42-7, but it wasn't quite enough to give Minnesota its largest comeback victory of the season. Instead, the Timberwolves lost on back-to-back nights following their season-best four-game winning streak and fell to 2-11 in the second of back-to-back games.

Charlotte, meanwhile, won for the fourth time in its last six road games.

"It'd be a huge amount of regret if we'd lost this one," Mohammed said. "We'd have hated to look back and be one game away from making the playoffs ... one game way from the seventh or sixth seed or whatever it may be just because of a game you lost here in February."

The victory put the Bobcats a game above .500 for the first time since in nearly three weeks and in sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference heading into the All-Star break. Charlotte has never made the playoffs in its six years in the league.

Game notes
Charlotte's victory was the 1,300th of Brown's NBA/ABA coaching career. He joins Lenny Wilkens (1,332) and Don Nelson (1,322) as the only head coaches to reach that mark. ... Brown has known Minnesota general manager David Kahn since Kahn worked at the Daily Bruin during Brown's three-year stint coaching UCLA from 1979-1981. Said Brown of the Timberwolves' first-year GM: "He's a special kid. He's bright, knows the game and cares about people. I think they made an unbelievable hire here. He'll get it done."