Now that they're fully rested, the Phoenix Suns may be ready to light up the scoreboard the way they usually do against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Phoenix returns from a three-day layoff and tries to avoid a third straight loss Tuesday when it hosts Minnesota.

The Suns (50-16) earned perhaps their signature victory of the season last Wednesday, winning 129-127 in double overtime at NBA-leading Dallas in a possible preview of the Western Conference finals. After that contest, though, Phoenix suffered a pair of lopsided losses.

One night after coach Mike D'Antoni blamed a 105-83 home loss to the Detroit Pistons on emotional exhaustion, the Suns traveled to Denver on Saturday and allowed the Nuggets to shoot 57.3 percent (51-for-89) from the field in a 131-107 defeat.

"We're still feeling it,'' Phoenix guard Steve Nash said Saturday of the game against the Mavericks. "It was a big win. We have to get back to the way we were before that game.''

Wednesday's victory capped a five-game winning streak for the Suns, who are now looking to avoid their third losing streak of three games or more. Phoenix also dropped three in a row Feb. 9-14, and lost a season-high four straight Nov. 3-9.

The Suns got 25 points from Leandro Barbosa on Saturday, but fell behind by as many as 38 points in a game they never led.

"We're in a little bit of a funk right now," D'Antoni said. "Discombobulated. We have to regroup a little bit.''

Facing the Timberwolves (28-37) could provide Phoenix a prime opportunity to regroup. Minnesota has dropped its last 10 road games, including a 109-102 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

The Suns typically score in bunches against the Timberwolves. Phoenix has scored at least 100 points in the last nine meetings between the teams, going 7-2 in that span. This season, the Suns have averaged 119.7 points and shot 53.2 percent from the floor to take two of three meetings versus Minnesota.

At Phoenix on Jan. 21, the Suns outscored the Timberwolves 46-20 in the third quarter and made 54 of 95 (56.8 percent) field-goal attempts.

While the third quarter gave Minnesota trouble in that contest, the opening quarter helped undo the Timberwolves on Sunday. Kobe Bryant scored 14 of his 50 points in the game's first 8:12 as the Lakers jumped out to an early 17-point lead.

"It really starts at the start," Minnesota coach Randy Wittman said. "Lately we've been digging ourselves into too big of holes at the start of the game. ... At the start of the game against good teams, you dig eight, 10-point deficits the first three or four minutes, five minutes of the game, you're fighting an uphill battle the whole night."

The defeat was the fourth in five games overall for the Timberwolves, who are entering the third of a five-game road trip.

Ricky Davis scored 33 points in Sunday's loss, while Kevin Garnett added 26 points and 16 rebounds. Garnett scored his season high of 44 points and added 11 boards in a 121-112 victory on Jan. 29 that ended the Suns' franchise-record 17-game winning streak.


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