Phoenix Suns vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Pick & Prediction JANUARY 13th 2023

Stadium: Target Center Minneapolis
Logo Phoenix Suns
VS
Logo Minnesota Timberwolves
226.5
OPENER
-3.5

223o -110
CURRENT
-6.5 -110

-130
MONEYLINE
+110

116
SCORE
121

The Minnesota Timberwolves hope to locate their defense on Friday when they open a three-game homestand against the injury-riddled Phoenix Suns in Minneapolis.

The Timberwolves saw a four-game winning streak go by the boards against another short-handed team in the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons had their way with Minnesota on the offensive end Wednesday, much to the chagrin of Timberwolves coach Chris Finch.

"There was zero defensive impact all night," Finch said following the 135-118 setback. "We didn't do anything to make them uncomfortable. They put 135 on the board, had at least 31 points in every quarter, and shot 60 percent from the floor and (53.1) percent on 3s."

The Suns also gave the scoreboard operator a bit of a workout in the first two games of the season series. Phoenix posted a 116-107 win over Minnesota on Nov. 1 and a 129-117 victory eight days later.

Timberwolves star Rudy Gobert collected 25 points and 11 rebounds in the game on Nov. 9. Although he had 16 and 14, respectively, on Wednesday, Gobert was left searching for answers.

"After that first stretch, we have a team that's just straight up playing harder than the other," Gobert said, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "They're communicating harder, running harder and they're more physical than us. Why is that? That's what we have to figure out."

Minnesota may have another thing to figure out, and that's the health of Anthony Edwards. The former top overall pick initially was ruled out for the game in the third quarter with hip soreness before he returned in the fourth.

"I played the very game right after (sustaining the injury)," Edwards said, per the Star Tribune. "I guess I just got to play every game from here on out no matter how it feels. I'll figure it out."

Phoenix is struggling to figure things out after the club fell for the 10th time in 12 outings following a 126-97 setback against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

Torrey Craig scored 16 points and Josh Okogie added 14 off the bench for the Suns, who played without Deandre Ayton (left ankle sprain), Landry Shamet (right hip soreness), Chris Paul (sore right hip), Cameron Payne (right foot sprain), Devin Booker (left groin strain) and Cam Johnson (torn right meniscus).

Despite the injuries, Phoenix coach Monty Williams said he feels confident that the team can record positive results on its four-game road trip. The Suns opened the trek with a 125-113 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday before falling flat against Denver.

"Every time we've put a game plan together, I feel like we can win the game," Williams said. "... We saw it (Tuesday) night. We played against a championship squad and we beat them on their home floor, so that should tell you anything can happen.

"So, I feel confident about this trip. I know we have guys out. Do we have to play at a high, high level and be really efficient? Absolutely, but we can, and that's what I believe we'll do."

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Phoenix Suns
108
115
Minnesota Timberwolves

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Phoenix Suns vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Recap NOV 9TH 2022

Devin Booker scored 32 points and dished 10 assists, Mikal Bridges scored a season-high 31 points, and the Phoenix Suns went on a 14-0 run in the first quarter that gave them a lead they never relinquished en route to a 129-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Phoenix's big first-quarter run flipped an 18-15 deficit into a 29-18 lead in fewer than three minutes. The burst powered the Suns to a 39-point first quarter -- one game after Minnesota had surrendered 38 points in each of the first two quarters in a loss to New York.

Another run of 16-7 over the final 4:23 of the second quarter pushed the Phoenix lead to 18 points by intermission. It remained a double-digit-point margin throughout the second half, growing to as many as 27 points.

The Suns offense clicked thanks to unselfish play, with Phoenix producing 31 of its 47 made field goals off assists. Cameron Payne dished for eight, complementing his season-high 23 points -- one off his career high -- as he started in place of Chris Paul.

Paul came out of the Suns' loss in Philadelphia on Monday with right heel soreness.

Bridges added five assists to go along with his team-high nine rebounds.

Along with their distribution, Booker and Payne also led the way to Phoenix shooting a torrid 16-of-35 from 3-point range. Booker went 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, and Payne shot 4-of-9. Landry Shamet, who scored 16 points off the bench, chipped in 2-of-3 shooting from long range.

Three-pointers helped make the difference, as Minnesota shot 41-of-78 from the floor, but just 9-of-27 from behind the line. The Timberwolves were also dominated in second-chance points, 18-8.

Rudy Gobert led Minnesota in his return from COVID-19 health and safety protocols, scoring 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor with a game-high 11 rebounds. Jaden McDaniels added 24 points, and D'Angelo Russell finished with 20.

The Timberwolves' season-long leading scorers, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, managed just 11 points each. Both were limited due to foul trouble.

--Field Level Media