Dante Cunningham's perfect night helps Wolves end six-game losing streak
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Dante Cunningham scored a season-high 18 points, Nikola Pekovic added 14 and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Hornets 115-86 on Saturday night to stop their six-game losing streak.
Cunningham hit all nine of his shots to set a franchise record for most consecutive field goals without a miss.
Anthony Davis scored 18 points for the Hornets, who played without Eric Gordon and finished their five-game road trip with four consecutive losses. Team doctors still haven't cleared Gordon to play in back-to-back games while recovering from knee surgery.
Gordon played 25 minutes at Denver on Friday, and the Hornets badly missed their star shooting guard's energy. A night after committing 22 turnovers, New Orleans turned it over 23 times against the Wolves, who recorded their largest victory margin this season.
One of the worst-shooting teams in the NBA, the Wolves shot 58 percent (45 for 77) using a simple formula: Get to the paint. Minnesota went hard to the basket early and often -- 15 of its scoring possessions in the first quarter were either drives or free throws. The Timberwolves led 33-14 after one, and their lead was never seriously threatened.
Ricky Rubio, who took the blame for Minnesota's lackluster start in a 111-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, set an aggressive tone early by driving to the basket and finding open teammates with his usual flashy assists. The biggest highlight came late in the third quarter, when Rubio lobbed an alley-oop to Cunningham for a two-handed jam that stretched the Wolves' lead to 74-46 and brought the crowd to its feet.
Rubio had nine points and seven assists, and Minnesota outscored the Hornets 58-32 in the paint.© The Associated Press