The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for Western Conference playoff hopefuls the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves.
13:00 (AEDT), Tue 10th Dec @ Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix
History: Played 113: Suns 71 V Timberwolves 42
Last meeting: November 23, 2019: Suns 100 d Timberwolves 98 at Target Center
Final Thoughts: The Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves have both exceeded expectations so far in the 2019-20 NBA season. Both sides sit mid-table in the Western Conference – but they are both aiming to rectify flagging recent form.
The seventh-placed Suns have won only three of their last 11 games. Their four-game road trip last week garnered wins over the Hornets and Pelicans interspersed with losses to the Magic and Rockets.
Devin Booker continues to shine, racking up 44 points in the overtime victory in New Orleans. Meanwhile, Ricky Rubio averaged 12.5 assists a night in the four away fixtures.
The ninth-placed Timberwolves’ winning record evaporated over the past week with four consecutive defeats. They went down at home to the Grizzlies, before losing to the Mavericks, Thunder (OT) and Lakers on the road.
Yesterday’s 142-125 result against the Lakers was their highest score conceded this season. Karl-Anthony Towns – averaging 25.8 points, 11.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists – remains Minnesota’s talisman. But guard Andrew Wiggins is on the fringe of All-Star discussions in what is shaping as a career-best season.
The Timberwolves have won eight of their last 12 against the Suns, including four of their last six in Phoenix.
But the Suns edged the T-Wolves 100-98 in Minneapolis last month. Devin Booker was just one assist shy of a 35-point triple-double, while Kelly Oubre Jr had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals. Karl-Anthony Towns (31 pts, 17 reb, 4 ast) was a one-man band for the vanquished hosts.
The Suns are only 5-7 at home after losing their last three in Phoenix. The Timberwolves boast a decent 7-5 road record despite their three straight losses away.
Both teams are struggling on the defensive end. The Suns have been putting it together more consistently offensively and look the more solid option here against the slumping Timberwolves.
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