Cunningham scores 18 as Timberwolves beat Hornets

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm •  Published: February 2, 2013
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"It's easier to do it when you're up by 20 you know," Rubio said. "But I felt pretty good today and like I said, I started finding my rhythm and my shot and being aggressive."

The biggest highlight came late in the third quarter, when Rubio lobbed an alley-oop to Cunningham for a two-handed jam that stretched the Wolves' lead to 74-46 and brought the crowd to its feet.

"It's great for the crowd sometimes, some of the plays he makes," Adelman said. "But he just has to make good plays, not great plays all the time. I think that's one thing we have to learn to do."

Rubio had nine points and seven assists, and Minnesota outscored the Hornets 58-32 in the paint.

"Anytime you come out and allow a team to play the game that easily, you look right at the coach, and for whatever reason, I wasn't sharp tonight," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "I didn't have the guys ready to play and we got embarrassed tonight. That's something that is unacceptable."

NOTES: New Orleans is 8-7 when Gordon plays and 7-26 in games he's missed. "It's tough when you have a guy who can put up 20 points and you've got to sit him," Williams said before the game. Much like Williams has done with Gordon this season, Adelman has had to limit Rubio since returning from knee surgery. "I understand the deal with Rubio," Williams said. "He's such a great young player that you don't want to damage him for the future." Adelman, though, joked that he didn't believe early reports that Gordon wouldn't play. "I'm just very pessimistic at this point," he said. "He'll probably play 40 minutes." ... The Hornets are 9-4 in their past 13 against Minnesota. ... The Hornets matched their season low of 14 first-quarter points, which previously came against the Wolves on Jan. 11.

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