Preview: Minnesota At L.A. Clippers
When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, November 29, 2015
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Clippers occasionally show what kind of team they can be when everything works on both ends of the floor, they just have some trouble doing it consistently. The Clippers will try to put together back-to-back wins when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
Los Angeles dropped four of five and was down on itself after a 102-91 home loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday but bounced back with one of its better performances in a 111-90 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. “I thought our defensive energy was really good,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “We got out in transition, and that’s something that we’ve talked about all year, but really haven’t done. We haven’t run like we can run.” The Timberwolves have the pieces to get out and run as well and have surged to three straight victories despite rookie Karl-Anthony Towns’ struggles. The No. 1 overall pick is averaging 6.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in the last three contests.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (8-8): Minnesota’s other No. 1 draft pick, guard Andrew Wiggins, is picking up some of the slack for Towns and scored 22 points in Friday’s 101-91 win at Sacramento that opened the brief two-game trip. Wiggins is averaging 23.6 points in the last five games and combines with reigning dunk champ Zach LaVine to make up one of the most athletic backcourts in the league. LaVine moved back into the starting lineup on Friday with Ricky Rubio (ankle) sitting out and could get another on Sunday as the Timberwolves take it slow with the Spanish point guard.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (8-8): Los Angeles realizes it needs to start playing better basketball before the rest of the Western Conference passes it by. “We are desperate,” guard J.J. Redick told reporters. “We have to not look at this as something where we can ease into things. … It’s got to be now. That seems to be the atmosphere in the locker room.” That sense of urgency was apparent on Friday, when the Clippers scored at least 27 points in each of the first three quarters before letting the starters watch most of the fourth from the bench.
1. The Clippers have taken 12 straight in the series.
2. Timberwolves F Shabazz Muhammad is 5-of-8 from 3-point range in the last three games.
3. Los Angeles G Pablo Prigioni (illness) missed the last six games and is day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Clippers 108, Timberwolves 105