for this game

Foye, Timberwolves topple Hornets

Jan 24, 2009 - 4:35 AM By James Beilby PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Randy Foye and Al Jefferson continued to prove a potent inside-outside combination as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the New Orleans Hornets, 116-108, on Friday.

While the Hornets have the stingiest interior defense in the league, Jefferson was able assert himself offensively in the third quarter, scoring 11 points of his 24 points.

Foye has been Minnesota's fourth-quarter threat, recording 10-plus points in the fourth quarter four times this month.

"It has nothing to do with me," Wolves coach Kevin McHale said of Foye's improvement. "Randy is just a very good basketball player. He had 24 points, eight assists, five rebounds and no turnovers; he even threw in a blocked shot there at the end."

With Minnesota leading by two, Foye hit pair of 3s and blocked a fadeaway jumpshot by Peja Stojakovic to give Minnesota a 109-101 lead with 1:29 to play.

"We're resilient," Minnesota forward Rodney Carney said. "Even though they came at us hard, we can withstand that. We combatted with Randy making big plays as well as Big Al (Jefferson). It was an all-around joint effort."

After winning four of 27 games in 2008, Minnesota is 8-2 in 2009. The Timberwolves have improved their scoring by more than 10 points per game and have not been outrebounded this year.

"We said all the right things before this game," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "We told these guys how good this team had been playing. Just before the game we told our front line that they better do a good job of keeping these guys off the glass. They killed us on the glass."

James Posey was only 1-for-8 from inside the arc but 7-for-11 from beyond it as the Hornets shot a torrid 59.1 percent from long range.

Posey scored 24 and Paul added 23 and 12 assists for New Orleans.

"Posey was draining so many 3s there for a while, I thought he'd never miss," McHale said. "It was a good game for us, a tremendous win."

The Hornets opened a 12-point lead midway through the second quarter on torrid shooting from the field and from beyond the arc. Minnesota pulled within five at the half, 56-51.

Paul helped the Hornets close the third quarter strong, scoring a trio of baskets and assisting on another. New Orleans led, 81-79, going into the final quarter.

Carney scored 12 of his 15 points for Minnesota in the fourth quarter before Foye took over.

"We really missed our 'bigs', Tyson (Chandler) and David (West)," Scott said. "They were much more physical than us and we didn't have enough big bodies."