The Timberwolves needed this, big time.

Especially after a bitterly cold end to January, with the losing bleeding into February. After losing six straight games and 11 in 12, the Wolves needed a nice, tidy little blowout.

"Did this feel great?" asked J.J. Barea, smiling. "Oh, man, yes. This was good for the team.''

The Wolves exorcised a bit of pain Saturday at Target Center with a 115-86 romp over a New Orleans Hornets team that had won three of four and seven of nine entering the game.

They did it by scoring in streaks and sometimes seemingly at will. The Wolves led by 19 after one quarter, by as much as 30 in the second and by as much as 34 -- the team's biggest lead of the season -- late in the fourth quarter. The victory margin was, by far, the team's biggest of the season.

The starters set the tone, and the bench followed suit. The Wolves shot a season-best 58.4 percent (45-for-77) while playing strong defense throughout. They pounded the Hornets in the paint, where they scored 59 points, and on defense, forcing 23 New Orleans turnovers that resulted in another 29 points.

"Just such a solid win for our guys," coach Rick Adelman said. "All the way through. I thought we defended well, the ball moved. Just a solid, solid four quarters."