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Jefferson, Foye help Timberwolves edge Clippers

Mar 9, 2008 - 7:12 AM By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) - Al Jefferson had 30 points and 12 rebounds and Randy Foye scored a season-high 26 to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 99-96 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

It was the first time this season the Timberwolves, who own the worst road record in the league, have won two straight games away from home. They defeated the Sacramento Kings, 111-103, on Friday.

"That's great for our confidence," Foye said. "We've been working toward this the whole year, but we couldn't get it. We're going to be young next year, so for us to go into the next season with that confidence, knowing that we can beat people on their home court is important."

Foye hit a jumper and added a driving layup near the one-minute mark to put Minnesota ahead with 10 seconds left make it 97-96. Following Corey Maggette's jumper, Foye made a pair from the line for a three-point cushion.

The Clippers had an opportunity to force overtime, but Cuttino Mobley missed a wide-open 3-pointer from the left corner as time expired.

"I rushed it," Mobley said. "I'm thinking two seconds left, guy running at you, you're just trying to get it up. I should have just gone ahead and shot it slower. I'll get another opportunity and I'll take my time."

"The basketball God was on our side," Jefferson said. "We've been in this situation a lot and we always fail. We stepped it up to another level. We still gave up a wide-open shot, but it was a miss and things worked out for us."

Minnesota got in position for the win after overcoming a 13-point third-quarter deficit as an 8-0 run midway through the fourth tied the scored at 85-85 after a steal by Marko Jaric led to a fast-break layup from Rashad McCants.

The Timberwolves took their first lead of the second half at 91-89 on a pair of free throws by Jefferson with 3:16 remaining. Chris Kaman hit two from the line on the ensuing possession to tie it back up, and Mobley gave Los Angeles the lead back at 94-93 with a corner 3-pointer at the 1:39 mark.

"We knew if we played great 'D' that they would let us back in," Jefferson said. "And that's what we did."

Maggette finished with 29 points and rookie Al Thornton chipped in 16 for Los Angeles, which has dropped eight of its last nine games overall.

The Clippers shot 30 percent (6-of-20) in the fateful fourth quarter.

"I'm speechless," Thornton said. "I definitely thought we had that game. We were up in the fourth quarter, but then they went to the zone, and we didn't make our shots."