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Charlotte Hornets breeze to easy win, 105-80, over Timberwolves

The Charlotte Hornets used some exceptional 3-point shooting Monday to build a 30-point third-quarter lead and blow out the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-80 at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Playing an afternoon game on Martin Luther King Day, the Hornets made nine of their first 16 3-point attempts and led 83-52 heading into the fourth quarter.

That was quite a contrast from Saturday night when the Hornets needed overtime to get to 80 points in a nine-point victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Hornets shot 2-of-15 from 3-point range Saturday.

The Hornets improved to 17-25, while the Timberwolves fell to 7-33. The Timberwolves played without core players Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin, all injured.

Gerald Henderson scored 17 points for the Hornets and Brian Roberts added 16. Thaddeus Young scored 18 for the Timberwolves.

The Hornets unexpectedly got back center Al Jefferson for this game. Jefferson had missed the previous nine games with a groin strain. He said Friday he expected to play Wednesday against the Miami Heat. However he was cleared medically Sunday to play.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford used Jefferson off the bench intending to limit him initially to about 16 minutes. This was the first time Jefferson played as a reserve in 544 games. He last came off the bench for the Boston Celtics in December of 2006.

The Hornets played without point guard Kemba Walker for the second consecutive game. Walker has a sore left knee. His status for Wednesday’s home game against the Miami Heat is to be determined.

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