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Jefferson leads Timberwolves past dismal Clippers

Feb 2, 2008 - 4:58 AM By Jim Beilby PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Al Jefferson collected 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the resurgent Minnesota Timberwolves to their most-lopsided win of the season, a 104-83 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

After starting 5-34, Minnesota has won four straight at home and five of its last seven.

The Timberwolves have been winning largely due to the strong play of Jefferson, who shook off a slow start and finished 10-of-17 from the field.

After going 1-of-5 from the floor in the first quarter, Jefferson came on in the second. The fourth-year pro scored 12 points in the period, but the Timberwolves trailed by four points at the break.

"In the first quarter, I think Al stopped Al," Minnesota coach Randy Wittman said. "He settled too much for jump shots and didn't put any pressure on them. In the second quarter, he got himself going a little bit, and they couldn't double him because he was attacking so quick."

Minnesota trailed, 60-52, with 10:11 left in the third on jumper by Tim Thomas. However, Jefferson then helped Minnesota take command with a 28-8 run over the next eight-plus minutes.

"Al's the guy," Minnesota forward Ryan Gomes said. "He's the one who gets us going and motivated. Once we see him do that, everyone else picks up the slack. We needed somebody to give us a boost, and he's been doing that lately."

Jefferson scored 11 points during the spurt as the Timberwolves took a 80-68 lead with 1:59 left in the period en route to a 83-71 advantage entering the fourth.

Jefferson took advantage of the absence of Chris Kaman, who missed a third straight game with a shin contusion. The Clippers also were without forward Corey Maggette, who sat out with the flu.

"They beat us up on the low post, no doubt," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Without Kaman to give us a low post presence offensively and defensively, it's kind of hard to deal with Jefferson who has been playing great."

Minnesota extended its lead to 95-75 midway through the fourth with balanced scoring by Gomes, Rashad McCants and Craig Smith.

Smith scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half for the Timberwolves, who outscored the Clippers, 74-39, in the final 2 1/2 quarters.

Sam Cassell scored 17 points in the first half but was held scoreless for the rest of the game for Los Angeles.

"They got a big stud in Al Jefferson, so they got something to work with," Cassell said. "If this organization can just put some people around that guy, it will make it easy for him. He's a big bag of chips."

Cuttino Mobley scored 16 points and Thomas added 12 as all five starters scored in double figures for the Clippers.

"It is what is it, man," Mobley said. "We're a little undermanned. Al Jefferson is averaging 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds, so that's pretty good. We made a couple mistakes, but we played hard."








  • NBA
    LA CLIPPERS 83
    MINNESOTA 104 FINAL

    Feb 1 10:19 PM


  • NBA
    LA CLIPPERS 71
    MINNESOTA 83 END, 3RD QTR

    Feb 1 9:51 PM


  • NBA
    LA CLIPPERS 56
    MINNESOTA 52 HALFTIME

    Feb 1 9:08 PM


  • NBA
    LA CLIPPERS 27
    MINNESOTA 20 END, 1ST QTR

    Feb 1 8:36 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Clippers vs. TimberwolvesJan 30 6:49 PM