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Three Points

February 04, 2007|PAUL NETTER

ANOTHER TURNOVER

With the recent firing of coach Dwane Casey, the Minnesota Timberwolves made a big midseason move for the third straight season in the hopes of reaching the playoffs.

They're 0-2 and counting. In 2005, coach Flip Saunders was replaced by General Manager Kevin McHale with the team's record at 25-26. Minnesota finished 44-38 but failed to make the playoffs.

In 2006, Minnesota, with a 19-21 record, made a seven-player trade with the Boston Celtics, with the key acquisition being Ricky Davis. The Timberwolves not only failed to make the playoffs but finished 33-49.

Minnesota (22-24) is now 2-4 under interim Coach Randy Wittman.

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo, 40, turned back the clock in January while replacing the injured Yao Ming.

Averaging 3.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots this season, Mutombo averaged 6.2 points, 12.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in January to help Houston to a 10-4 record.

Mutombo was perhaps prouder of his other achievement last month. He was honored by President Bush during the State of the Union address for raising $29 million (donating $15 million himself) for the construction of a hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, his native country.

ROAD TO NOWHERE

After being one of only two Eastern Conference teams to finish with a winning record on the road last season, the Detroit Pistons are the only one with a winning mark there (14-9) this season. They were 27-14 in 2005-06.

The Miami Heat, 10-15 on the road this season, barely joined them there last season at 21-20.

-- PAUL NETTER

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