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Golden State Warriors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Preview and Predictions 01-02-2020


The Golden State Warriors will be without shooting guard D'Angelo Russell for the second straight game when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday. That's a bad break for Golden State as Russell (shoulder) averaged 41 points in the first two meetings against Minnesota this season, including a career-high 52 on Nov. 8 when the Timberwolves prevailed in overtime.

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The Warriors suffered a 117-113 overtime loss against the host San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday for their second straight loss after a season-long four-game winning streak but coach Steve Kerr insists the season isn't a disaster. "We're having a productive season - we're just not having a winning season," Kerr told reporters. "I've enjoyed coaching this team, I just told them that. I enjoy coming in every day and working with these guys because they play hard, they play for each other and they care about that game. So, I'm not too concerned about the record." Minnesota has lost 13 of its last 15 contests but put up a strong road effort before falling 106-104 to the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. The showing came without center Karl-Anthony Towns (missed his eighth straight game with a knee injury) and small forward Andrew Wiggins (out three games with an illness).

TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: NBCS Bay Area, FS North

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (9-26): The loss to San Antonio raised the club's loss total to its highest in Kerr's six seasons at the helm with last season's 57-25 representing the previous worst campaign. "The first five years were exceptional, they weren't normal," Kerr told reporters. "So I try to look at things from a realistic perspective. What's happening this year is more in line with what generally happens to NBA teams." Golden State's deep collapse began with shooting guard Klay Thompson's major knee injury during last season's NBA Finals, continued with forward Kevin Durant's summer departure in free agency and continued when star guard Stephen Curry suffered a broken hand in the fourth game of this season.

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (12-21): Post player Gorgui Dieng missed a tying 20-foot attempt with less than three seconds remaining as Minnesota pushed the NBA-best Bucks to the brink before falling. "There's a lot of heart in that locker room," Saunders said after the setback. "There's a lot of potential in that locker room too." Point guard Shabazz Napier scored 22 points against the Bucks, two shy of the season-best point total he posted against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Warriors have won 16 of the past 21 meetings, including a split of the two games earlier this season.

2. Minnesota PG Jeff Teague (knee) sat out Wednesday and could miss his second consecutive contest.

3. Golden State C Willie Cauley-Stein (illness) will sit out for the second straight game.

Prediction

Free Daily Lock Pick: NBA: Philadelphia vs. Cleveland - February 26th - (100% Confidence Release)

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Target Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Capacity: 20,500

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Last Injuries

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Karl-Anthony Towns

    Wrist
    Early March | out

    Towns is out of action for at least two weeks due to a fractured left wrist.

  • Jake Layman

    Toe
    Prob Mon | probable

    Layman has been sidelined due to a left toe sprain, but is expected to return to action against the Mavericks on Monday.

  • Jaylen Nowell

    Illness
    Prob Sun | probable

    Nowell sat out the last game due to an illness, but he is expected to suit up Sunday against the Nuggets.

Golden State Warriors

  • Andrew Wiggins

    Leg
    Prob Tues | probable

    Wiggins has a leg contusion, but it is not expected to impede his status for Tuesday's matchup against the Kings.

  • Draymond Green

    Pelvis
    Out Tues | out

    Green sat out the last game due to a right pelvic contusion, and he will not be in Tuesday's lineup versus the Kings.

  • Klay Thompson

    Knee
    out for season | out

    Thompson is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the entire 2019-20 season.

  • Stephen Curry

    Hand
    Out Tues | out

    Curry had surgery on the second metacarpal on his left hand. He is making progress in his rehabilitation, and is expected to return to action on Sunday against the Wizards.

  • Marquese Chriss

    Calf
    Prob Tues | probable

    Chriss missed the previous game due to a sore left calf, but his likely to be available against the Kings on Tuesday.

  • Kevon Looney

    Hip
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Looney missed the previous game due to a sore left hip, but he is likely to suit up Thursday against the Rockets.