MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves finally found a way to hang on in the fourth quarter.
After blowing a 22-point second-half lead in a loss to Dallas on Tuesday and losing in overtime to New Jersey on Wednesday, Minnesota nearly dropped another contest in the waning moments.
Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 14 rebounds Friday night, leading Minnesota over the Charlotte Hornets 94-89 in a game the Timberwolves narrowly avoided wasting a 16-point lead.
"We're going through stretches where teams make runs at us," Garnett said. "We've got to be able to stop them and start our own. We can't wait for (coach Flip Saunders) to get us out of jams. We have to do it on our own."
Charlotte climbed back into the game with a zone defense that held the Wolves to 17-of-43 shooting in the second half.
Six straight baskets by Lee Nailon pulled the Hornets to 90-89 with 37.9 seconds remaining, but Wally Szczerbiak's short jumper put the Wolves back in front by three with 24.1 left.
"I think they were trying to go to K.G., couldn't get it to him and Szczerbiak pulled up and hit that jumper," Charlotte point guard Baron Davis said.
With 14.1 seconds left, David Wesley's 3-point attempt rattled out of the rim and over the backboard to give the Wolves possession. After being fouled, Szczerbiak hit the second of two free throws to make it a four-point lead.
"Wesley's shot was in and out," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "It's a whole different ballgame if it goes. It was the right call and the right shot."
Matt Bullard missed a 3-pointer on the next possession, and Garnett hit a free throw to seal the outcome.
"The positive thing was that we came through a little adversity," Saunders said. "It was one of those situations that when you've been there a couple of times, you start thinking about the moment. Once you play through it, you play with more confidence."
Despite being without Jamal Mashburn and George Lynch, the Hornets outscored Minnesota 44-32 in the paint. Mashburn has been on the injured list since Nov. 20 with a pulled groin and had been averaging 18 points a game.
"Jamal's coming along fine," Silas said. "Hopefully no surgery will be required."
Davis had 25 points, and Wesley added 16 for Charlotte, which lost for only the second time in its last six road games.
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