Nets entertain improved Wolves
Improved play on the road has kept the Minnesota Timberwolves respectable this season and they'll try for a third straight victory as the guest tonight against the New Jersey Nets.
Minnesota is 5-4 away from the Twin Cities and has recorded back-to-back road wins over San Antonio and Houston. It is coming off Wednesday's 109-99 home loss to Indiana, as Danny Granger led the Pacers with a season-high 36 points.
Kevin Love had a double-double with 21 points and 17 rebounds for Minnesota, which had won three of four and six of its previous nine games. The Timberwolves are now two games under the .500 mark at 10-12.
"We had another shot to get to .500 tonight and eventually we'll get over that hump," Love said.
The Timberwolves got 16 points from Luke Ridnour and haven't won three straight on the road since April 3-8, 2009. Michael Beasley finished with 11 points and has played in four straight games since missing 11 in a row with a right midfoot sprain. He is averaging 17.5 ppg since his return.
Wolves center Darko Milicic played against Indiana after a three-game absence and posted four points in less than 19 minutes. He is questionable tonight with a sore knee.
Deron Williams and the Nets are coming off their third win in five tries and ended a two-game slide with Wednesday's 99-96 victory over Detroit. Williams scored 26 points and dished out nine assists, while Kris Humphries added 18 points and eight rebounds for New Jersey, which won despite only dressing eight players. Jordan Farmar had 15 points in the win and newcomer Keith Bogans added two in 17 minutes.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game for us with the lack of bodies," said Williams, who is averaging 26.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists in the Nets' eight wins this season.
Williams is the only player in the NBA to average 20-plus points and eight or more assists this season. He is tied with Minnesota's Ricky Rubio for the most points/assists double-doubles in 2011-12 with nine. Humphries is averaging a double-double with 13.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
The Nets are 3-6 at home this season and could be without guard Anthony Morrow (ankle) and center Johan Petro (ankle/illness) tonight. Both players are listed as questionable. Morrow is shooting .430 (49-114) from behind the arc.
New Jersey and Minnesota split a pair of meetings last season, as each team prevailed as the host. The Wolves are 10-5 in the past 15 matchups in this series, but have dropped nine of 11 encounters in the Garden State. Williams is averaging 18.6 points and 10.8 assists in 22 career matchups with Minnesota.