CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Kemba Walker scored 31 points, rookie Miles Bridges had 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double on his 21st birthday, and the Charlotte Hornets handed the Minnesota Timberwolves their fifth straight loss, 113-106 on Thursday night.
Jeremy Lamb added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who won for only the fifth time in their last 16 games.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Hornets coach James Borrego turned to his youth after entering the night 3 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference and with the team’s playoff hopes fading fast.
Second-year player Dwayne Bacon got the start over Nic Batum, who earns $24 million per season. Bridges continued to start while rookie Devonte Graham and second-year pro Malik Monk (14 points) also saw action.
Youth was served as Charlotte outscored Minnesota 17-6 on fast-break points.
Towns came in averaging 30.1 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists this month after averaging 30.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists in February. But he was just 7 of 17 from the field and appeared to grow frustrated at times with some non-calls by the officials when there appeared to be contact.
Charlotte built its first double-digit lead at 96-86 midway through the fourth quarter when Walker went coast-to-coast and scored on a Eurostep layup between two defenders.
The Timberwolves never mounted a serious challenge after that point.
Timberwolves: Towns passed Kevin Love (6,989 points) to move into fourth place on the franchise’s career scoring list.
Hornets: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sat out with a concussion. He is out indefinitely. … Bench outscored Minnesota 46-26.
Timberwolves: Visit Grizzlies on Saturday night.
Hornets: Host Celtics on Saturday night.
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