NBA Game Preview - Nuggets v Timberwolves

 
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107
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Denver 26 29 26 26 107
Minnesota 29 25 25 21 100
100
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , January 20, 2020
Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 12,172

Timberwolves look to take advantage of road-weary Nuggets

According to STATS
According to STATS

Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. Denver has won six straight games in this series, its longest win streak versus the Timberwolves since a seven-gamer from 2010-12. Four of the six wins have come by four or fewer points, including a 100-98 overtime victory on November 10 in Minnesota.
  2. Denver is one of three teams that are undefeated against their own division this season (5-0), along with the Bucks (10-0) and Mavericks (7-0). The Nuggets have been in first place for 77 days this season, fourth most by any team; they are currently tied atop the Northwest Division with Utah.
  3. Minnesota has lost five in a row, with all five opponents shooting at least 50.0 percent from the field. That's the most consecutive games that the T-wolves have allowed 50.0+ percent shooting since February/March 2009 (five); the team record is six straight games in December 1990.
  4. Andrew Wiggins recorded his first career triple-double in Saturday's 122-112 loss to the Raptors, with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. It was the first triple-double by a Minnesota player since Ricky Rubio in March 2017.
  5. No player in NBA history has averaged both 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 three-pointers made per game in a season, as Karl-Anthony Towns is on track to do (11.2 rebounds, 3.4 three-pointers). He'd also be the first center -- based on primary career position -- to average 2.5+ three-pointers per game.
  6. Nikola Jokic scored a game-high 30 points in Sunday's 115-107 loss to the Pacers. He is averaging 24.4 points per game this month, compared to 20.8 per game in December and 15.6 per game prior to December.

The Minnesota Timberwolves had a day off while the Denver Nuggets played Sunday night at home before traveling to Minneapolis for a Monday night matchup.

That might give the struggling Timberwolves an edge against the Northwest Division co-leaders. Minnesota could use any advantage it can get in trying to stop a five-game losing streak.

Minnesota is coming off a 10-point loss at home to the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Saturday night in a game where Karl-Anthony Towns was held to 12 points. It was just the second game back after missing 15 for the center, and he's still trying to work his way back to form.

He'll need to be sharp against Denver's All-Star center Nikola Jokic, who leads the team in points, rebounds and assists. He had 30 points and 10 rebounds in a 115-107 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night, which snapped the Nuggets' three-game winning streak.

Denver has needed his effort with three starters missing multiple games. Jamal Murray (ankle) has missed the last two, Paul Millsap (left knee contusion) has been out for six games and Gary Harris (adductor strain) has missed three.

Coach Michael Malone has relied on his depth to weather the injury bug and his reserves have responded, most notably rookie Michael Porter Jr. The 6-foot-10 forward has seen his minutes increase and came into Sunday averaging 16.7 points in his previous three games and finished with 10 points and eight rebounds against the Pacers.

Porter has prepared knowing he's going to see more court time.

"I know I'll be playing a lot, and I know they will be calling on me to score some and play-make some," Porter told reporters Saturday. "I've just got to be ready for every single game."

Malik Beasley and PJ Dozier have also pitched in for Denver.

"We're finding ways with a young group, and with guys who are improving, and stepping up in big situations," Malone said. "I like where we're at. The challenge is if we can continue to play at the level we're playing at with the schedule we have ahead of us."

Minnesota will likely be without its newest player, Allen Crabbe, on Monday. Crabbe, who was acquired from Atlanta for Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham on Thursday, was out with an illness against Toronto and is not expected to play against Denver.

The Timberwolves might not be done dealing before the trade deadline, with Robert Covington's name being floated often in rumors. Covington said he isn't thinking about a possible move.

"I'm not even focused on that," Covington told the Star-Tribune recently. "My main focus is this team and what I do every day. I'm not going to get caught up in rumors or hype or whatnot. I'm a Minnesota Timberwolf. That's all my focus is."

In Towns' absence, the Timberwolves relied heavily on forward Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins had his first career triple-double -- 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds -- against the Raptors.

"It's always been a goal of mine," Wiggins said after the loss. "So to get it done? Hopefully there are more to come now."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 19, 2020

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