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Game Preview: Timberwolves vs. Warriors
Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 6 p.m. at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Timberwolves are coming off an embarrassingly bad home loss to the Detroit Pistons, trailing by 35 at one point in the game, en route to a 117-90 drubbing. The Defensive struggles continued for Minnesota, as Andre Drummond had himself a night down-low, hauling in 22 rebounds and scoring 22 points. The Wolves perimeter defense was nowhere to be seen either, as the Pistons shot 48.3 percent from long range.
Golden State is fresh off a surprising 110-89 loss to a depleted Memphis Grizzlies team in Memphis last night. The Warriors will be playing their second game in a road back-to-back, which could be a factor. Andre Iguodala was out for that contest as well.
If the Wolves want any chance to keep this game close, they will need to fully commit to defending the perimeter, and frankly, the entire floor. The Warriors boast the NBA’s second best ranked offense at 114.1.
PG: Ricky Rubio #9
SG: Zach LaVine #8
SF: Andrew Wiggins #22
PF: Gorgui Dieng #5
C: Karl-Anthony Towns #32
PG: Stephen Curry #30
SG: Klay Thompson #11
SF: Kevin Durant #35
PF: Draymond Green #23
C: Zaza Pachulia #27
Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic – out/season (recurring ankle pain), Nemanja Bjelica – game time decision (ankle)
Warriors: Zaza Pachulia – questionable (wrist), Kevon Looney – ankle (questionable)
This will be the second of four matchups this season with Golden State. Their last meeting, which took place in Golden State in late November, resulted in a 115-102 Timberwolves loss.
Stephen Curry led the way for the Warriors, scoring a game-high 34 points. Kevin Durant also had a big outing, scoring 28 points to pair with 10 rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes played.
Zach Lavine had a big night for the Wolves, scoring a team-high 31 points. Karl-Anthony Towns almost secured the double-double, netting 18 points and nine rebounds in the loss.
The Wolves have dropped seven of their last eight games, but a bright spot could be the improved scoring prowess of Zach LaVine. He is currently averaging 20.2 points per game, and has had past success against the stout Golden State defense, scoring 31 points in their last meeting.
In his last 10 games played, LaVine is averaging 22.3 points per game, along with 3.4 assists.
LaVine is shooting 36.7 percent from beyond the arc, while boasting a 54.9 effective field goal percentage. He will need to keep that solid shooting up if the Wolves want to keep pace with the offensive juggernaut that is Golden State.
TV: Fox Sports North – Dave Benz (play-by-play), Jim Peterson (analyst)
Radio: 830 WCCO-AM – Alan Horton (play-by-play)