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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 12th (All times Eastern)

Denver Nuggets (24-26) at Minnesota Timberwolves (24-28), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Northwest Division foes look to stop their losing streaks when the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Denver Nuggets Wednesday from the Target Center.

The Timberwolves have lost four straight and the Nuggets are mired in a three- game slide. Minnesota has lost the first two meetings of the season with Denver and 13 of the last 16 matchups between the division rivals.

Denver has won 11 of its last 13 games in the Twin Cities and will host the T'Wolves on March 3 at the Pepsi Center.

Minnesota is 0-2 on a four-game homestand after losses to Western powers Portland and Houston. Dwight Howard and the Rockets invaded the Target Center Monday and left the building with a 107-89 triumph behind an 18-point, 15- rebound performance from the dominant center.

The Wolves were still without two of its starters, guard Kevin Martin (thumb) and center Nikola Pekovic (ankle), but did get All-Star Kevin Love back. He missed two of his team's last three games due to separate injuries. Love sat out last Wednesday's loss to Oklahoma City due to a stiff neck and did not participate in the setback versus Portland because of a bruised quad.

Love had 31 points and 10 boards, as Minnesota fell to 14-11 at home and didn't have head coach Rick Adelman for personal reasons. Terry Porter filled in for him, as he did during Adelman's 11-game absence last January.

"Unfortunately for us, we couldn't make shots," Porter said. "Guys that normally make shots struggled."

Minnesota shot 35.6 percent and turned the ball over 17 times. Chase Budinger had 15 points in a losing cause. The Wolves will close out the homestand after the All-Star break versus Indiana on Feb. 19.

Meanwhile, Love is averaging 26.2 points and 13.8 rebounds in his last 13 games, and has 12 double-doubles in that span. Love is second in the NBA with 13.3 rebounds per game and first with 43 double-doubles.

The Nuggets are also playing their last game before the All-Star break and will close out a four-game road trip Wednesday. They have lost the first three portions on their jaunt at New York, Detroit and recently Indiana.

In Monday's 119-80 demolition at the hands of the Pacers, Wilson Chandler (17), J.J. Hickson (12) and Jordan Hamilton (11) scored in double digits for the Nuggets, who shot a lousy 31.5 percent and did not have point guard Ty Lawson because of a fractured rib.

Lawson leads the Nuggets in scoring (18 ppg) and assists (8.8 apg).

"I can take losing, but I don't want our guys to display being a loser. There's a difference between losing and being a loser. Basically, when things go bad, I don't want everyone to just splinter off and jump off the ship," Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw said.

The Nuggets are 10-15 away from home this season and have lost five of their last six games outside the Mile High City.

02/12 10:27:07 ET

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