The two Northwest Division inhabitants will renew the rivalry tonight from the Target Center in the Twin Cities. Denver defeated the Timberwolves, 115-113, on Dec. 18 this season and has won 20 of the past 26 matchups. It’s also unbeaten in the past six contests in Minneapolis.
The Nuggets were able to end a three-game slide with Tuesday’s 95-77 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, as Chauncey Billups finished with 18 points and nine assists in the finale of a brief two-game homestand at the Pepsi Center. Nene and J.R. Smith both finished with 17 points for Denver, which played without superstar Carmelo Anthony for a fourth straight game. Anthony is dealing with the recent death of his sister. The team expect to have Anthony back on Thursday following their game in Minnesota.
Arron Afflalo had 15 points in last night’s win.
“We played really good defense and then we executed in the third quarter,” Afflalo said postgame. “That was really it, playing good defense and executing on offense.”
Denver will try to stop a three-game road losing streak Wednesday and is only 4-10 away from the Rockies this season. It is 13-3 at home and could also be without forward Al Harrington tonight because of a thumb injury.
Minnesota hopes to extend its winning streak to a season-high three straight games this evening and opened a three-game homestand with Monday’s 113-98 triumph over the New Orleans Hornets.
Michael Beasley compiled 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while rookie Wesley Johnson scored a season-best 24 points thanks to six threes for the Timberwolves, who have won two straight following a seven-game slide and opened the third quarter with a 24-10 surge.
Kevin Love had 16 points and 11 rebounds in a winning cause.
“It feels good to win two in a row,” Love said. “The biggest thing was everyone contributed. All the way down the line — it was pretty good.”
The Wolves will also host New Jersey and are 6-7 at home in 2010-11.