EditorsNote: adds city in lede; changes to Devonte in fourth graf
Terry Rozier scored 31 points and Gordon Hayward returned to Charlottes starting lineup as the Hornets picked up their most lopsided win of the season, 135-102 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night in Minneapolis.
Rozier netted 15 points and hit four 3-pointers during a 21-2 third-quarter surge that broke the game open for Charlotte, which later led by as many as 38 points and handed the Timberwolves their ninth consecutive defeat. Rozier scored 41 points against Minnesota in a 120-114 win at Charlotte on Feb. 12.
Hayward finished with 23 points, nine assists, five rebounds and five steals in 31 minutes after missing Charlottes prior two games with a bruised hand.
But the Hornets, who again played without Devonte Graham (left knee) and Cody Zeller (hip), also lost P.J. Washington to a right ankle sprain with 10:13 left in the fourth quarter.
The injury occurred when Minnesotas Jarrett Culver accidentally kicked Washington on the back of his right leg as he was coming down from a layup attempt under the basket. Washington finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.
The Hornets, who went 3-3 on their six-game road trip to wrap up the seasons first half, are hopeful the All-Star break will provide valuable rest for their injured players.
Ricky Rubio led the Timberwolves with 20 points and nine assists, and Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
Anthony Edwards scored 19 points and Jake Layman added 14.
The loss dropped Minnesota to 0-5 since Chris Finch replaced Ryan Saunders as coach, and the Timberwolves allowed more than 130 points for the third time during that span. The Wolves are also 1-11 since Towns returned to their lineup.
Charlottes LaMelo Ball, who was recently named the Eastern Conferences Rookie of the Month, finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ball fell a point short of his sixth consecutive 20-point game.
Malik Monk had 18 points and Miles Bridges scored 13 off the bench for the Hornets.