The Charlotte Hornets are no longer winless this preseason.
Thanks to a strong third quarter, the Hornets made up an early double-digit deficit to the Minnesota Timberwolves and held on for a 98-86 victory at Spectrum Center.
Charlotte’s bench, which mostly struggled in the team’s three previous losses, maintained a lead throughout the fourth quarter. Frank Kaminsky, Ramon Sessions and Jeremy Lamb reached double-figure scoring as reserves.
The Hornets overcame some rough shooting from starting forwards Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams, who combined to go 3-of-18 from the field.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Three who mattered
Zach LaVine: The Timberwolves guard made 10 of his first 11 shots, finishing the first half with 23 points.
Kemba Walker: He’s regaining his rhythm after sitting out contact drills in training camp. He hit a 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer.
Kaminsky: He’s offering some much-needed scoring punch off the bench. He finished with 17 points and made four of eight 3-point attempts.
▪ Coach Steve Clifford anticipated this group wouldn’t score as efficiently as last season’s Hornets. That was underscored by 47 first-half points on 37 percent shooting.
▪ Clifford is slowly raising Walker’s minutes each exhibition. Walker was scheduled to play about 24 minutes Monday.
▪ Williams, who shot 40 percent from 3-point range last season, made one of his first 13 attempts from 3 this preseason.
▪ Kidd-Gilchrist is taking more jump shots this preseason, but for the most part they’ve been misses.
▪ Kaminsky is playing some center this preseason in addition to backup power forward.
▪ The Hornets won’t play another exhibition until Oct. 17 in Chicago against the Bulls.
▪ Cody Zeller (right knee) and Perry Ellis (sports hernia) sat out Monday’s exhibition.
▪ Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing worked out players before the game in pink sneakers to participate in Breast Cancer Awareness.
C+ OFFENSE: It recovered during the third quarter to generate 32 points off 12-of-22 shooting.
B DEFENSE: LaVine burned the Hornets early, but Karl-Anthony Towns was a relative nonfactor and that’s tough to do.
B COACHING: After a day off Tuesday, Clifford will have five consecutive practice days to clean up some technical glitches.
Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell