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Timberwolves avoid franchise futility mark with 16th win

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves’ 16th victory of the season — and fourth in the past six games — proved significant Monday night at Target Center.

Their 99-90 decision over the injury-depleted, road-weary Los Angeles Clippers surpassed with five weeks to spare the 1991-92 Timberwolves’ 15-67 season that set a franchise record for futility.

It also meant that after what coach Randy Wittman called a month of cajoling and at least one night of action, Wolves star forward Al Jefferson answered his challenge.

Imploring Jefferson to play with as much attention to detail at one end of the floor as the other with repeated words and a nine-minute benching Friday in Seattle, Wittman watched Jefferson block four shots by halftime Monday on a night when the Wolves pick-and-rolled the Clippers into submission by game’s end.

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Their efficiency in that standard-issue play contributed to 24 assists.

TIMBERWOLVES 99, CLIPPERS 90

L.A. CLIPPERS (90)

Maggette 9-18 13-15 34, Thomas 8-15 4-6 22, Powell 5-12 0-0 10, Mobley 3-15 4-6 10, Knight 1-3 2-3 4, Ross 1-3 0-0 2, Dickau 1-2 0-0 2, Thornton 2-7 0-0 4, Fazekas 1-1 0-0 2, Parker 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 31-80 23-30 90.

MINNESOTA (99)

Snyder 5-10 4-6 14, Gomes 6-9 6-6 19, Jefferson 10-15 2-4 22, Jaric 2-4 1-2 6, Foye 3-9 0-0 7, McCants 6-10 2-3 16, Brewer 1-7 0-0 2, Richard 1-2 0-0 2, Smith 4-10 3-4 11. Totals 38-76 18-25 99.

L.A. Clippers 23 21 22 24 — 90

Minnesota 23 24 21 31 — 99

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3-Point Goals—L.A. Clippers 5-21 (Maggette 3-8, Thomas 2-5, Parker 0-1, Thornton 0-2, Mobley 0-5), Minnesota 5-11 (McCants 2-4, Jaric 1-1, Gomes 1-1, Foye 1-2, Snyder 0-1, Brewer 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—L.A. Clippers 48 (Powell 12), Minnesota 53 (Jefferson 14). Assists—L.A. Clippers 17 (Knight 7), Minnesota 24 (Jaric 10). Total Fouls—L.A. Clippers 20, Minnesota 23. Technical—Thomas. A—10,034 (19,443).

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