The Minnesota Timberwolves got Karl-Anthony Towns back from a two-game suspension on Wednesday, but it wasn't enough to spark their defense into high gear in a 137-121 loss at Memphis. The Timberwolves will try to lock in on the defensive side of the floor when they host the depleted Golden State Warriors on Friday.
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Towns collected 25 points and 13 rebounds on Wednesday, but Minnesota allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 56.8 percent from the floor, including 12-of-23 from 3-point range, and was outscored 36-25 in the fourth quarter. "We weren't good," Towns told reporters. "We gave up a gazillion points. We better hope we score a gazillion and one. We didn't do that." The Timberwolves could be in line for a gazillion points against the Warriors, who are allowing an average of 121.5 points after getting crushed at Houston 129-112 on Wednesday. "A big part of this league is just fighting and keeping your energy and spirit up all the time," Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters. "Whether you're having a good night or bad night, you can't be dependent on your own success. The energy and the spirit has to be there to be a consistent player in this league."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (2-6): Golden State's injury list is the biggest news surrounding the team, with stars Klay Thompson (knee), Stephen Curry (hand), Draymond Green (finger) and D'Angelo Russell (ankle) all missing time. The Warriors had one player take the floor on Wednesday - two-way reserve guard Damian Lee - who was with the club last season and continues to lean heavily on rookies Eric Paschall, Ky Bowman and Jordan Poole. "We need to continue to get better as a team," small forward Glenn Robinson III, who is starting in the spot occupied by superstar Kevin Durant last season, told reporters after the loss to the Rockets. "This was another test for us tonight, and we just have to be ready for the next game."
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (4-3): Minnesota allowed over 130 points in each of the last two contests and was burned for 26 fast-break points in Wednesday's loss. "That's what really dug us a hole, our ability to get back in transition," Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders told reporters. "I can't give a reason except we weren't communicating, and we didn't cross match with things." The poor defensive effort on Wednesday overshadowed another solid offensive performance from swingman Andrew Wiggins, who scored a season-high 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting and matched a season best with six assists.
1. Timberwolves PF Jordan Bell, who spent the previous two seasons in Golden State, sat out Wednesday with a shoulder injury and is day-to-day.
2. Russell could make his return from a three-game absence on Friday while Green is expected to miss his fourth consecutive contest.
3. Golden State took six of the last eight in the series but suffered a 131-130 overtime setback in its last trip to Minnesota on March 29.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
- IllnessQues Wed | questionable
Wiggins has been away from the team during the past three games due to a death in the family and is now battling an illness. It is unknown if he will return Wednesday against the Jazz.
- HamstringOut indefinitely | out
Napier is sidelined due to a strained right hamstring, and there is currently no timetable for return.
- FootQues Wed | questionable
Layman exited the last game due to left foot soreness, and it is unclear if he will be available against the Jazz on Wednesday.
- KneeProb Mon | probable
Okogie sat out the previous game due to left knee soreness, but he is likely to be available against the Jazz on Monday.
- IllnessProb Sat | probable
Teague is battling an illness but is projected to face the Rockets on Saturday.
- ShoulderProb Sat | probable
Bell is expected to face the Rockets on Saturday despite a shoulder injury.
- IllnessProb Fri | probable
Teague is projected to be in Friday's lineup versus the Wizards despite an illness.
- ShoulderQues Fri | questionable
Bell has sat out the previous five games due to a right shoulder sprain, and it has yet to be determined if he will return to action Friday against the Wizards.
Golden State Warriors
- HandProb Sun | probable
Paschall sustained a hand injury in the previous game but is expected to suit up against the Pelicans on Sunday.
- HandEarly Dec | out
Lee will miss at least four weeks due to a non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand.
- IllnessLate Nov | out
Looney has been out of action due to a condition known as neuropathy. He is not expected to return until at least the end of November.
- AnkleProb Wed | probable
Spellman missed the previous game due to a left ankle sprain, and it will not impede his status against the Lakers on Wednesday.
- Hipday-to-day | questionable
Paschall missed the previous game due to a right hip contusion, but he is projected to play Monday against the Jazz.
- FingerProb Mon | probable
Green is sidelined with a sprained left index finger, but he is expected to return Monday versus the Jazz.