Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves will continue their push towards a postseason berth when they entertain the Boston Celtics tonight from Target Center.
Love has been on fire as of late, averaging 37.3 points and 16.3 rebounds over the past four games and an NBA-best 31.3 ppg this month. Love scored 14 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's 88-83 win at Charlotte and also grabbed 19 rebounds.
"I thought he was terrific tonight," Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman said about Love. "The way he's been able to sustain it night-after-night really says a lot about his conditioning."
Luke Ridnour posted a double-double of 15 points and 14 assists for the Timberwolves, who have won two of three games since losing seven of nine. The Timberwolves are 2 1/2 games off the seventh and eighth seed in the Western Conference and 13-12 at home.
Minnesota guard J.J. Barea missed his third straight game with a bruised right quadriceps and is questionable for tonight. Forward Michael Beasley (toe) and center Nikola Pekovic (ankle) are both questionable as well.
Boston has won three in a row and five of its last six games, including Wednesday's 94-82 triumph versus the Utah Jazz.
Kevin Garnett, perhaps the greatest Timberwolve in history before being traded t finished with 20 points and Brandon Bass tallied 19 for the Celtics, who are tied with Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division standings.
"He is really inspiring to his teammates when he's got it going like that on both ends," Pierce said of Garnett's play.
Rajon Rondo posted 14 assists and has handed out 10 or more in 11 straight contests. Rondo had a streak of nine games last season with 10 or more assists.
Celtics sharpshooter Ray Allen missed his fourth straight game with a sore right ankle and is questionable for Friday.
The Celtics, seeded seventh in the East, own a 10-14 mark away from Beantown this season and are playing Minnesota for the first time since sweeping last year's home-and-home set. Boston has nine won nine in a row and 15 of the past 19 meetings between the teams, and is unbeaten in four straight matchups at Target Center.