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Reply To: NBA • Wednesday Service Plays • 1/6/16

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Preview: Denver At Minnesota

When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Something has to give when the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. The Nuggets have dropped six straight games and the Timberwolves are losers of three in a row and seven of their last eight.

Minnesota hit bottom with a 109-99 loss at the NBA-worst Philadelphia 76ers and has not reached 100 points in any of the last eight contests. “They’ve won four games all year,” Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad told reporters of the 76ers. “The message should be clear by now that we’ve got to go out there and play harder.” Minnesota should have a chance to reach the century mark in scoring against the Nuggets, who are surrendering an average of 108.2 points in the last six games. The offense was not able to pull Denver completely out of a big hole in an overtime loss at Golden State on Saturday and came up just short in Sunday’s 112-106 home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Altitude 2 (Denver), FSN North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (12-23): Denver forward Kenneth Faried left the court in Golden State on a stretcher after taking an elbow to the back of the neck but was in the starting lineup the next night against Portland. “My teammates looked at me and said: ‘We need you. If you can go, then please help us, and if not we understand,’” Faried told reporters. “My coaches and everybody — coaching staff, front-office people — were just asking me if I can go.” Faried delivered 13 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes on Sunday.

Minnesota shot 53.4 percent from the floor but only had one starter score in double figures against the 76ers. “It’s not about the loss, it’s about how you compete and we’ve got to do a better job of competing,” interim coach Sam Mitchell told reporters. “You’re going to lose some games, but you’ve just got to compete every second.” Rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns was limited to eight points in each of the last two games while shooting a combined 8-of-25 from the floor.


1. Timberwolves F Shabazz Muhammad is averaging 15.7 points on 18-of-29 shooting in the last three games.

2. Nuggets F Danilo Gallinari is averaging 26.5 points in two games since returning from an ankle injury.

3. Denver took the first two meetings this season, including a 112-110 win at Minnesota on Dec. 15.

PREDICTION: Nuggets 110, Timberwolves 98