In the NBA, minutes are a commodity. Saturday night rookie Jeff Taylor provided return on investment.

Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap promised Friday to find Taylor more minutes. Saturday Taylor got 33, the most he’s played since mid-December, and he responded with a career-high 18 points in the Bobcats’ 113-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Dunlap hasn’t surrendered the season. But he’s saying more emphatically than ever that the best use of the remaining 27 games is ensuring the kids develop their skills.

“Every time I give him minutes, he takes advantage of them,” said Dunlap of Taylor, an athletic 6-7 swingman. “Tonight he took advantage of his 15-foot driving game. I’ve got to find him more minutes.”

In the balance, that shifts minutes away from veteran shooting guard Ben Gordon. Gordon played Saturday, after not getting off the bench Friday versus the Chicago Bulls. But he was limited to 12 minutes and didn’t score.