It's probably a good time to start talking about intangibles for the Timberwolves or the dreaded "moral victory."

With the Wolves' losing streak extended to five after a 99-90 loss at New Orleans on Saturday night, further diminishing their NBA playoff hopes, other topics are worth exploring as the Wolves' season continues to fade.

For example: Amid the disappointment at New Orleans Arena was the encouraging performance of Michael Beasley, who played for the first time in five games and reminded the Wolves that he still can be a capable scorer.

"It's a weight off everybody's shoulder when Mike is healthy," Wolves forward Kevin Love said. "He's extra firepower. Tonight, he picked that up for us."

Beasley shook off his sprained left big toe and delivered 20 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench. He scored 12 points in the second half, including two three-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Beasley's second three-pointer pulled the Wolves (25-32) within four with 3:43 remaining before New Orleans (15-41) pulled away behind a late flurry from center Chris Kaman.

Beasley provided hope that he can help ease the enormous burden on Love to carry the Wolves over the final nine games of the regular season.

Beasley, who had not played since March 27 at Memphis, made 7 of 11 shots and had one assist and one block. He showed little effects of the toe injury, though he said it was "stepped on."