NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 5th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (8-8) at Boston Celtics (9-8), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Timberwolves are coming off a 3-point barrage in Philadelphia and will try to stay hot Wednesday night against Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics in the finale of a quick eastern road trip.
Minnesota was hot from beyond the arc in Tuesday's 105-88 victory over the 76ers, burying 13-of-25 3-pointers to win for the third time in four tries. Alexey Shved had 17 points thanks to a 4-of-7 showing from downtown and Josh Howard added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Dante Cunningham had 13 points and JJ Barea added 11 and 10 assists for the Timberwolves, who made 53.2 percent from the field and got 10 points from Malcolm Lee, Luke Ridnour and Derrick Williams. The Wolves had a 63-40 lead right before halftime and led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter.
"We talked about how every game on the road we have gotten off to good starts, but we maintained it tonight," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. "The bench came in and did a terrific job to expand the lead. It was a solid win."
The T'Wolves improved to 8-4 when scoring 90-plus points and are averaging 56.3 points in the first half over the previous four games.
Celtics point guard Rondo is eligible to return after serving a two-game suspension for his involvement during a brief brawl under the basket against the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 28. Rondo shoved Nets forward Kris Humphries after what he believed was a hard foul on teammate Kevin Garnett.
Rondo is currently ranked third in the NBA behind Jason Kidd and Chris Paul in assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Celtics split the two games without Rondo, defeating Portland on Friday before dropping Saturday's 91-88 decision at Milwaukee. Jason Terry had 15 points and 11 assists, while Paul Pierce scored a game-high 19 points for the Celtics, who had won three of four games and opened the night on a 17-0 run.
Milwaukee outscored the Celtics 36-21 in the second quarter.
"I thought both teams hung in there. They made some big shots and we missed some," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "It's always going to be a make-miss league."
Jeff Green and Garnett scored 18 and 17 points, respectively, in defeat. Garnett is now two games shy of tying Terry Porter (1,274) for 17th place on the all-time games played list. A.C. Green is 16th with 1,278 games played.
In injury news for Boston, guard Leandro Barbosa (illness) is questionable versus the Timberwolves.
Boston won the lone meeting with Minnesota a season ago and is undefeated over the past 10 matchups in this series. The Celtics are 13-3 in the last 16 contests in this series and have won six in a row as the host.
12/05 10:44:50 ET