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Smith paces Hornets over T'Wolves

Apr 8, 2012 - 5:28 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Jason Smith had a career-high 26 points, 10 rebounds and three steals, as the New Orleans Hornets held off the Minnesota Timberwolves, 99-90.

"I just tried to come out with a lot of energy," Smith said. "We tried to redeem ourselves from last night in that horrible loss. I thought that we came out and played with a lot of energy and got a big win tonight."

Chris Kaman added 21 points, 10 boards and four blocks for the Hornets, who have won two of three since a three-game skid. Greivis Vasquez donated 11 points and 10 assists.

Kevin Love ended with 29 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have dropped five in a row. Michael Beasley tallied 20 points.

"They seemed to really hit everything tonight," Love said. "It seems that teams keep shooting a good percentage on us, but we brought it on the defensive end, for the most part. We just missed shots. It's tough. We gave ourselves a chance to win, but they just blew it out at the end."

Neither team led by more than five in a first quarter that featured four lead changes and two ties. Minnesota took a 21-20 lead into the second.

With the score tied at 36 with under 4 1/2 minutes left, the Hornets went on an 8-1 flurry. Smith tallied four points during the spurt, including a jumper with 1 1/2 minutes remaining to make it 44-37.

Kaman's bank shot with 3.2 seconds to go gave New Orleans a 46-41 edge at the break.

Love's two free throws and Martell Webster's three-pointer made it a 50-50 contest with 8:24 left in the third stanza.

The Timberwolves took a 62-59 margin on Nikola Pekovic's three-point play moments later. But New Orleans responded with a 14-0 run to take control. The Hornets made a trio of three-pointers during the burst, which Carl Landry capped with two free throws for a 73-62 lead with 1:50 left.

New Orleans held a 79-67 margin after three periods. However, Minnesota started the fourth on a 12-2 run to make it a two-point game.

Holding an 85-83 edge with under five minutes to play, Kaman scored five straight points to give the home team a 90-83 margin.

Following a Beasley three-pointer, Vasquez made a layup and floater to give the Hornets a 94-86 lead with 2:53 to go.

Game Notes

New Orleans took two of three from Minnesota this season...Hornets guard Eric Gordon had 10 points...Beasley had missed the previous five games due to a toe injury...Timberwolves center Darko Milicic (hamstring) missed his fourth straight game...New Orleans guard Jarrett Jack (sore right ankle) and center Chris Johnson (concussion) missed the game.