NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 11th (All times eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (25-33) at Denver Nuggets (31-26), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Minnesota has essentially played itself out of the Western Conference playoff picture but the Denver Nuggets are desperately trying to punch their ticket to the postseason.
The Nuggets, who are currently the No. 8 seed in the West, will host the sinking Timberwolves tonight.
Minnesota did Denver no favors on Monday, falling to Phoenix, 114-90, at Target Center. The Suns are in ninth place in the West, just one game behind the Nuggets.
Kevin Love poured in a game-high 25 points and ripped down 13 rebounds against Phoenix, while J.J. Barea added 16 points and five assists for the Timberwolves, who have lost a season-high six consecutive games. Michael Beasley contributed 12 points and Nikola Pekovic donated 11 in the loss.
"We have to find a way to get energy and draw from each other, and we're not doing it," Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman said.
The turning point of Minnesota's season came back on March 9 when it lost dynamic rookie point guard Ricky Rubio to a torn ACL in a loss to the Lakers. The Wolves are a dismal 4-13 since then.
The Timberwolves will be officially eliminated from postseason play tonight if they loss to the Nuggets and both Utah and Phoenix win their games.
Denver, meanwhile, is coming off a rousing 123-84 rout of Golden State in the Rockies on Monday. Rookie Kenneth Faried scored 27 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in that one to pace the Nuggets.
"All I know is, he was the guy with the biggest motor," Warriors coach Mark Jackson told the Nuggets' website when talking about Faried. "He was probably on a different level than anyone on the floor and he set the tone."
Arron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari, returning from a 10-game absence due to a broken thumb, scored 15 points apiece, JaVale McGee and Corey Brewer both netted 13 and Al Harrington and Ty Lawson each finished with 10 for the Nuggets, who avenged a 112-97 loss to the Warriors on Saturday.
"We defended from the first quarter to the fourth quarter," Faried said. "That's what we must do and that's what we have to do every night.
The Wolves have lost four straight and nine of their last 10 trips to Denver.
04/11 13:19:07 ET