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NBA Preview | Clippers @ T’Wolves

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NBA Preview | Clippers @ T’Wolves

By Don Phillips


Minnesota Timberwolves (25-49) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (46-27)


8:00 PM ET, March 30, 2016

Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota


TV: Fox Sports North

Radio: WCCO (830 AM)


First Meeting: Blake Griffin scored 26 points and Chris Paul added 20 with nine assists as Los Angeles beat the Timberwolves, 107-99, on Nov. 29 at Staples Center. Griffin finished with eight rebounds and eight assists, and J.J. Redick had 18 points for the Clippers, while Andrew Wiggins topped Minnesota with 21 points and Zach LaVine added 17 with seven assists.

Second Meeting: DeAndre Jordan totaled 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks as Los Angeles rallied past the Timberwolves, 110-106, on Dec. 7 at Target Center. Jamal Crawford scored 10 of his 18 points in the 4th quarter for the Clippers, while Zach LaVine led Minnesota with 21 points.

Third Meeting: Andrew Wiggins scored 31 points, including the tie-breaking jumper with 47.6 seconds left, as the Timberwolves snapped Los Angeles’ 14-game series winning streak with a 108-102 victory on Feb. 3 at Staples Center. Chris Paul finished with 22 points for the Clippers while DeAndre Jordan contributed 18 points and 15 rebounds.

The Wolves racked up 26 points from 21 Phoenix miscues on Monday, their fifth game in the last six with 20+ in that category. Minnesota is scoring an NBA-best 21.6 ppg off turnovers in March and also ranks 5th in fast-break scoring (17.6 ppg) in 14 starts this month (tallying 20+ points on four occasions).

The Wolves shot 50.6% Monday vs. Phoenix, their 15th 50%+ showing in the last 33 contests. Minnesota is shooting 48.6% (107.0 ppg) in those 33, after reaching 50% just once in its prior 31 starts (44.1% and 97.1 ppg).

The 132 points last Friday at Washington tie the 4th-highest single-game total in club history; the Wolves shot a franchise-record 68.4% in the Mar. 5 win over Brooklyn. Minnesota made all 31 of its free throw attempts Feb. 19 at Memphis, just the sixth time in the past 50 years a team has been perfect from the line with 30+ FTA.

The Wolves went 43-for-53 on Feb. 10 vs. Toronto, the 2nd-most-prolific night in franchise history; they lead the NBA in FTs made (21.7 per game) and rank 4th in FT accuracy (79.6%). Minnesota’s 11 treys Feb. 19 at Memphis are a season best; they added 10 vs. Memphis on Mar. 16.

The Wolves finished 8-for-17 from beyond the arc Jan. 13 at Houston, ending a run of 22 straight games in which they’d hit fewer threes than their opponent – the longest such drought in NBA history.

With their win over the Nuggets on Mar. 27, the Clippers clinched a postseason berth, extending their franchise record to five consecutive playoff appearances. The Clippers clinched on March 27th for the second consecutive season (3/27/15 at PHI: 119-98) and clinched with a home victory for the first time since at least 1999-00.

LAC is also one of only five teams that have an active streak of four or more postseason appearances.

The Clippers currently feature the league leaders in FG% (DeAndre Jordan – .703), 3PT-FG% (J.J. Redick – .475) and FT% (Jamal Crawford – .913). According to Elias, no team in NBA history has carried the league leader in all three categories.

Four teams (1973-74 Braves, 1963-64 Royals, 1952-53 Celtics & 1953-54 Celtics) carried the leaders in both FG% & FT% prior to the implementation of the three-pointer in 1979-80.

Selection: Over