Bobcats slip past Timberwolves, 102-101
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — For the first time in more than two months, there were smiles and laughter throughout the Charlotte Bobcats locker room following a home game.
The Bobcats' long home losing streak had finally ended.
Gerald Henderson made a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left to lift the Bobcats to a 102-101 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night, snapping a 16-game home losing streak.
The Bobcats streak was stopped two losses short of the NBA record held by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.
"I saw the clock," Henderson said. "I kind of grabbed the ball with about five seconds. I knew I had some time. I just threw it up there and it went in. It feels great to end that streak."
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 25 points and Ramon Sessions finished with 23 as the Bobcats won at home for the first time since Nov. 21. Henderson finished with 15 points.
Luke Ridnour had a season-high 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead Minnesota, which has lost nine of 10.
Henderson's game-winner capped a frantic final 29 seconds after Ricky Rubio put the Timberwolves up 101-99 with a reverse layup.
The Bobcats were struggling to get a shot off before the 24-second shot clock expired.
At one point Henderson drove the lane and lost control of the ball, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had to save it from going out of bounds by throwing it back in. Walker tried to set up again, but the ball bounced off J.J. Barea's knee and into the backcourt.
With time running down, Walker retrieved the ball and passed it to Henderson, who pump-faked to avoid a leaping Andrei Kirilenko and then gathered himself briefly to swish the 3-pointer.
"Man, I didn't think he had time to get it off," Walker said. "He pump-faked. I didn't know if it was going in or not but he really took his time and he had a chance to gather himself. He shot it with confidence and it went in."
The Timberwolves had a chance to win the game but Barea failed to get a shot off as time expired and wound up on the floor. Acting Timberwolves coach Terry Porter and Berea argued the call with officials at midcourt, pleading that Berea was fouled by Walker as he attempted the shot.
"There was some contact there and they didn't think there was enough to call a foul," Porter said. "Four seconds is plenty of time to get an opportunity to get it off."
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