A doormat of the Pacific Division visits a division leader in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Phoenix Suns are on the road as they travel to face the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night. Phoenix lost their fifth straight with a 115-109 home loss to Toronto Wednesday night. Minnesota won for the third time in four games as they trounced Sacramento 119-96 at home Thursday night. The Suns own a 68-39 edge in the all-time regular season series: the teams split two meetings earlier this season, each winning at home.
Phoenix Suns Try to Stop Recent Slide
Phoenix has lost five straight games and in the process, dropped back into the basement of the Pacific Division standings. The Suns battled but were unable to secure a home win over the Raptors Wednesday night that would have given them a split of the season series. Phoenix was within six at the half but was outscored 34-27 in the third quarter to trail by 13: they were unable to dig their way out of the hole in the fourth. The Suns shot 44.6 percent from the field and eight of 24 from three point range. Troy Daniels had 32 off the bench to lead Phoenix in the loss.
The Suns are 11th in the league in scoring with an average of 106.6 points per game. The Suns are 5th on the glass by collecting 45.6 boards per game. Phoenix stands second last in the league in assists with 20 per contest. Phoenix is last in the league in scoring defense as they allow 114.5 points a night. TJ Warren chips in 18.7 points plus 5.6 boards a night from the small forward spot. Devin Booker puts up a team high 24.3 points plus 4.1 assists per game and will be the focal point of the offense for the foreseeable future. He currently is dealing with an adductor strain that has him out of the lineup that is expected to sideline him another couple weeks. Big men Marquese Chriss, Alex Len, Greg Monroe and Alan Williams along with Tyler Ulis, Mike James (10.8 points, 3.9 assists), rookie Josh Jackson and Jared Dudley have to contribute for Phoenix to have any kind of success. The Suns are 22nd in the league in field goal percentage at 44.6 percent so far. The Suns are 28th in three pointers per game with 8.4 per contest. Phoenix is 29th in three point percentage as they splash only 32.9 percent of their chances from long range.
Minnesota Timberwolves Seek Fourth Win in Five Games
Minnesota won for the third time in four games as they took down the Kings. The Timberwolves, who lead the Northwest Division, now gets another doormat from the Pacific Division as they look to keep rolling. Minnesota led by 10 after three quarters and put the game away by outscoring Sacramento 31-16 in the third quarter to take a 24 point lead. The Timberwolves shot a blistering 56.1 percent from the floor and went 10 of 21 from three point range while limiting the Kings to 41.4 percent shooting from the floor. Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and five blocks to lead Minnesota in the win.
The Timberwolves come into this game 9th in scoring with 107.7 points a game. Minnesota is 20th in rebounding with 42.4 boards a night and 13th in assists by dishing out 22.8 dimes per contest. The Timberwolves are 18th in scoring defense as they allow 106.3 points per game. Andrew Wiggins is third on Minnesota with 18.4 points plus four boards a game. Karl-Anthony Towns averages 20.4 points plus 11.8 rebounds, Jamal Crawford adds 9.2 points a night, Jimmy Butler kicks in 19.8 points and 5.6 rebounds while Jeff Teague adds 13.6 points plus 7.1 assists a contest. Minnesota has to get production from Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad, Taj Gibson (11.1 points, 8.3 rebounds), Tyus Jones and Nemanja Bjelica as their bench group. The Timberwolves are 7th in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 47.2 percent from the floor. Minnesota is tied for 29th in the league in threes with 8.1 per game and is tied for 20th in the league in three point shooting as they’ve hit 35.8 percent of their attempts from downtown.
- Suns are 6-19-1 ATS in their last 26 games playing on 2 days rest
- Timberwolves are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. Western Conference
The Timberwolves just dismantled a doormat team in Sacramento. That was the same Kings team that beat the Suns by seven earlier this week. Phoenix just isn’t the same team without Booker, who the team hopes to have back by the 29th against the Kings. That means you don’t have to worry about seeing him on the floor here. Minnesota is playing well at the moment and their trio of Towns, Wiggins and Butler is more than enough to dim the Suns and send them to a sixth straight loss.