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Game Preview: Timberwolves vs. Warriors
Friday, March 10, 2017 at 7:00 p.m at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Minnesota welcomes in Golden State (52-12) as they continue to fight for the eight spot in the Western Conference standings. In their most recent game, the Wolves dominated a healthy Los Angeles Clippers team 107-91. Karl-Anthony Towns led the pack with 29 points and 14 rebounds, scoring his 3000th career point in the process. Ricky Rubio had another solid all-around game, finishing with 15 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds while adding 2 steals in as well.
Golden State comes into Target Center down one of their big four, as Kevin Durant will miss extended time due to a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee. Former league MVP Stephen Curry enters tonight averaging 24.9 points per game, 6.3 assists per game, and 4.5 rebounds per game. He and fellow sharpshooter Klay Thompson, who is averaging 21.8 points per game, will look to pick up the slack left behind by Durant.
PG: Ricky Rubio #9
SG: Brandon Rush #4
SF: Andrew Wiggins #22
PF: Gorgui Dieng #5
C: Karl-Anthony Towns #32
PG: Stephen Curry #30
SG: Klay Thompson #11
SF: Patrick McCaw #0
PF: Draymond Green #23
C: Zaza Pachulia #27
Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic – out/season (recurring ankle pain), Zach LaVine – out/season – (Torn left ACL), Adreian Payne – probable (illness)
Warriors: Kevin Durant – out (Left MCL sprain), Shaun Livingston – out (rest)
In their two previous meetings, Golden State has won both, with the most recent game occurring last Dec. 11 in Minneapolis, 116-108.
The Warriors used an explosive fourth quarter to secure the victory, outscoring the Timberwolves 38-20. Klay Thompson had a game-high 30 points to lead the Warriors, knocking down four triples in the process. Kevin Durant had a solid all-around performance, compiling 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Steph Curry chipped in 22 points and 9 dimes in the win.
For the Wolves, the young trio of Wiggins, Towns, and LaVine all scored 25 points each, combining for 75 points. Towns added 18 rebounds as well, doing his best to keep things close.
Since the injury to superstar Kevin Durant, the duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have not been themselves from beyond the arc. As of yesterday, they are 29-106 from deep (27.3%). If the Wolves want to add another win in their quest for the eighth seed run, they will need to keep Curry and Thompson in check, and hope those numbers continue stay true.
Brandon Rush will re-enter the starting lineup against his former team tonight, as he was a late scratch against the Clipper due to an illness. His replacement, Shabazz Muhammad, had a solid outing in his absence, scoring 17 points and hauling in 6 boards. It should be interesting to see how coach Thibodeau divides the minutes between Rush, Muhammad, and recent signee Lance Stephenson, who has shown flashes of great basketball.
TV: Fox Sports North – Dave Benz (play-by-play), Jim Peterson (analyst)
Also on NBATV
Radio: 830 WCCO-AM – Alan Horton (play-by-play)
(All stats found on nba.com, and basketball-reference.com)