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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 8th (All times eastern)

Minnesota Timberwolves (13-12) at Memphis Grizzlies (12-13), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The much-improved Timberwolves will aim to win for the second time in as many nights without All-Star Kevin Love when they take on the Grizzlies in Memphis tonight.

Love, who leads the Wolves in both scoring (25.0 ppg) and rebounding (13.7), missed Tuesday's 86-84 win over Sacramento after being suspended two games for stomping on Houston's Luis Scola during the third quarter of Saturday's 100-91 win.

Nikola Pekovic stepped up in Love's absence, recording a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota as it defeated Sacramento, 86-84, at Target Center.

"Every time out there he brings out new moves," said Minnesota's Derrick Williams about Pekovic's game. "I think he's the strongest player in the NBA. He's quick off his feet, too. He's really agile and just quick. He's one of a kind with his strength."

Michael Beasley added his own double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Wolves, who have now won three straight overall. Williams, starting in place of Love, added 14 points and pulled down eight boards.

Minnesota hasn't won four consecutive contests since Jan. 29-Feb. 6, 2010.

The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have dropped three straight, including the opener of a five-game homestand to San Antonio on Monday.

Marc Gasol had 22 points and nine rebounds while Mike Conley finished with 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds in the 89-84 setback for Memphis, which is now 7-4 at FedEx Forum and will finish its residency with games against Indiana, Utah and Houston.

"We made some shots and got some stops. Then in the fourth quarter, we just couldn't make a shot anymore. They (Spurs) were hurting us in the pick-and- roll and just kept getting what they needed. It was a close game. We just couldn't get the stop and when we got the ball, we just couldn't finish on the offensive end," Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins said.

The Grizzlies have won four straight on Beale Street over Minnesota and eight of nine overall, including a 90-86 win in the Twin Cities back on Jan. 4. Memphis is unbeaten in its last five contests in this series.

02/08 10:36:29 ET