National Basketball Association
Minnesota at L.A. Clippers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Minnesota Timberwolves are playing for pride. The Los Angeles Clippers, who host the Timberwolves on Wednesday, are trying to stay healthy while tuning up for the playoffs. The Clippers would like to jump up into third place in the Western Conference to set up a first-round date with the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets, but are two games behind the Denver Nuggets for that spot. Minnesota has been tough on playoff teams of late.
The Timberwolves lost at the Warriors on Tuesday but have beaten playoff teams Milwaukee, Boston and Oklahoma City since March 29. Minnesota does not seem content to fight over ping-pong balls and has instead spent the last half of the season experimenting with lineups and allowing point guard Ricky Rubio to further acclimate to the NBA. The Clippers are enjoying the first Pacific Division title in franchise history and have won back-to-back games to recover from a three-game slide.TV:
10:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports North (Minnesota), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (29-48):
Minnesota has used four point guards, sometimes all at the same time, surrounding center Nikola Pekovic, Derrick Williams and Andrei Kirilenko in the front court. The missing piece remains Kevin Love, who has missed most of the season with a fractured hand and will undergo an arthroscopic procedure on his knee that will erase any small chance of him returning in the final week. Rubio has been a highlight show for the team at times but has also thrown up a few performances that remind the team how little experience he actually has in the NBA. Rubio went 0-for-10 from the floor in Tuesday’s 105-89 loss at Golden State and is 1-for-23 in the last two games. The Timberwolves are one of the best rebounding teams in the league with Love in the lineup but can be handled by bigger teams without the All-Star in the lineup. That led to a 60-44 rebounding disadvantage against the Warriors.ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (51-26):
Los Angeles is enjoying the best regular season in franchise history but is just now showing signs of busting out of a funk that had carried through much of March. The Clippers looked like a team that could go deep into the playoffs in 109-95 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Chris Paul had 24 points and 12 assists and Blake Griffin added 24 and 12 rebounds in the easy victory. “It just feels like something we were supposed to do,“ Paul said after that win. “It means we’re headed in the right direction. We’re not satisfied.” The Clippers are still waiting on Chauncey Billups to recover from his latest injury but have gotten solid play from the likes of Jamal Crawford, Willie Green and Matt Barnes.
1. The Clippers have taken the last four meetings between the teams.
2. Rubio has been held to 5.6 points on 20.5 percent shooting in five career games against Los Angeles.
3. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan has grabbed 25 rebounds in the last two games.
Clippers 102,Timberwolves 89
Stats and Records