This ninth game of 20 or more points by Kemba Walker was a masterpiece.
On a night when the Charlotte Hornets trailed the young and talented Minnesota Timberwolves by as many as 14 points, Walker willed his team home with 30 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals for a 115-108 victory at Target Center.
Walker excelled despite having to leave the game in the second quarter with a tight back. The Hornets improved to 7-3, breaking a two-game losing streak.
Frank Kaminsky came off Charlotte’s bench to score a season-high 20 points.
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Andrew Wiggins scored 29 and Karl-Anthony Towns had 21 points and eight rebounds for the 3-7 Timberwolves.
Three who mattered
Zach LaVine: He hit four of Minnesota’s nine 3-pointers in the first half to build a 12-point halftime lead.
Karl-Anthony Towns: He had seven of the Timberwolves’ dominant 28 rebounds in the first half.
Kemba Walker: He set a personal best with his ninth consecutive game of 20 or more points and hit 2,000 career assists.
▪ Walker entered the game second in the NBA in 3-pointers made at 3.4 per game. Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is first at 4.8.
▪ The Timberwolves got back guard Zach LaVine, who missed Sunday’s victory against the Los Angeles Lakers with a sore knee. Shabazz Muhammad (sore knee) and Brandon Rush (sprained toe) missed this game.
▪ Starting Friday the Hornets will play eight games in 12 days. With so little practice time in that span, would it make sense to send Aaron Harrison and/or Christian Wood for a D-League assignment with the Greensboro Swarm?
▪ Walker had to leave the court during the second quarter with tightness in his back. He went to the training room for stretching.
▪ The Hornets were clobbered on the boards in the first half, 28 to 14. That led to 11 second-chance points for the Timberwolves.
▪ Hornets coach Steve Clifford thinks there’s a good chance guard-forward Jeremy Lamb will be available to play Friday against the Atlanta Hawks. Lamb has missed the past seven games with a hamstring injury.
▪ Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing missed his second consecutive game with an illness. He’s in Charlotte, recovering.
▪ The Hornets have a two-day break from games. They won’t go two days without playing again until Dec. 18.
B+ OFFENSE: The Hornets shot 59 percent from the field during the third quarter, which makes any team look good.
C DEFENSE: Defense isn’t complete until you retrieve the ball. The Hornets certainly failed in that regard during the first half.
B COACHING: They avoided the slow start, but that second quarter was a wreck.
Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell