Kevin Love's double-double streak has, unfortunately, come to an end. But the Wolves no longer find themselves in the basement of the Western Conference standings, at least temporarily. They currently have one more victory than the Sacramento Kings, and their .250 winning percentage (with a 17-51 record) has them as the fourth-worst team in the NBA, ahead of the Kings, the Washington Wizards, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wolves and Kings are, as it stands now, the only two teams in the league that have been officially eliminated from post-season contention. Yes, even the 16-49 Bullets and the 12-53 Cavaliers are, technically, still alive as of today. Long live the Eastern Conference.
The Wolves will take to the court three times this week, hoping to move themselves a little higher in the conference by the end of the season. Minnesota only has 14 games left this year, and only six of those 14 are at the Target Center, so if you were hoping to get out and see the team this season, your chances are running out.
The week will start on Wednesday against a team that the Wolves recently defeated in the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are currently in fourth place in the Northwest Division with a 35-33 record, which puts them 18 games clear of the fifth-place Timberwolves. This will be the fourth and final meeting between these teams this season, with the Jazz having taken two out of the first three. Utah won on December 22 at the Target Center by a score of 112-107, and were triumphant in Salt Lake City back on Jan. 28, 108-100. The Wolves did win the most recent match-up between these two teams this past Friday at the Target Center, blowing out the Jazz 122-101. Tipoff for this one is a little later, with the game set to begin at 8:00 p.m. Central time, and you'll be able to see the television coverage on Fox Sports North.
The Wolves will follow that one up on Friday with a trip to Tinseltown to take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers lead the Pacific Division with a 48-20 record, and have swept all three of the meetings between the Wolves and Lakers this year. The Lakers got a 99-94 victory in L.A. on Nov. 9, and a 112-95 victory at the Target Center on Nov. 19 to go along with a 90-79 victory in Minneapolis on March 1. Late tipoff for this one as well, as the game is scheduled to get underway at 9:30 PM Central time, and will also be televised by Fox Sports North.
Minnesota will finish the week on Sunday by returning home to face the aforementioned Sacramento Kings. The Kings are in last place in the Pacific Division, and these two teams have split their season series so far, with both teams winning on the other's home floor. Sacramento managed to squeak out a 117-116 victory over the Timberwolves at the Target Center on October 27, with the Timberwolves returning the favor on Nov. 10 with a 98-89 victory in Sacramento. This one will be an early afternoon tilt, with the tipoff set for 2:30 PM Central time, and this one will be on Fox Sports North as well.
You can also hear all of these games on the radio by tuning in to KFAN-AM 1130.
There's your week in Timberwolves basketball, ladies and gentlemen!