NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 22nd (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (13-14) at Los Angeles Clippers (19-9), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers will try to extend two streaks Sunday night when they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Staples Center.
The Clips have won four in a row and six of seven overall. And, thanks to a pair of victories already this season against the Wolves, L.A. has taken seven straight against Minnesota.
On Saturday night, Jamal Crawford poured in 27 points and Blake Griffin added 24 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Clippers to a 112-91 win over the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.
Since J.J. Redick went down with a right hand and elbow injury, Clippers coach Doc Rivers started Willie Green for a while, but four games ago, he went with Crawford, who finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting last season.
Over those four games, the Clips are obviously undefeated and Crawford has averaged 19.5 points per game.
The Clippers scored 11 of the first 13 points of the game and outpaced the Nuggets 28-18 over the first quarter.
"I think for us, whenever we set the tone in the first quarter it kind of carries us, especially against a team that just played last night," Crawford said.
Chris Paul recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists, while Darren Collison and Matt Barnes finished with 13 points apiece for the Clippers. Barnes played for the first time since Nov. 18. He missed 16 games while recovering from surgery on his left eye to repair a torn retina.
The Wolves will try to salvage a victory on this weekend jaunt to Los Angeles.
Minnesota fell to the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, 104-91.
"It was a poor game on our part," Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman admitted. "We didn't play well from the very start."
The Lakers led 35-26 after a quarter of play, but Minnesota outscored the hosts 27-16 in the second and took a 53-51 edge into the break. LA headed into the final frame with an 81-76 cushion and cruised.
The Wolves, who shot under 35 percent, were led by their big men, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. Love finished with 25 points, Pekovic had 22 and both men grabbed 13 rebounds.
Kevin Martin was the only other Wolves player to score double-digits with 14.
Friday's loss came after perhaps Minnesota's best win to a date, a 120-109 home drubbing of the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The T'Wolves have lost three of their last five.
The Wolves last beat the Clippers on March 5, 2012.
12/22 10:15:42 ET