Scouting Report: Wolves at Celtics
Web Editorial Associate
Wolves (8-8) at Celtics (9-8) TD Garden
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM
View Timberwolves Game Notes
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The Timberwolves’ back-to-back road trip out East wraps up tonight when Minnesota travels to Boston’s TD Garden to face the Celtics. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO-AM.
The Celtics last played on Saturday night, a loss in Milwaukee by a 91-88 margin. The Celtics started out hot, pushing the score to 17-0 before the Bucks scored their first bucket. But a game removed from his triple-double against the Wolves, Bucks reserve forward Larry Sanders led his team with another great game with 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots. Paul Pierce led Boston with 19 points, and Kevin Garnett had 17 points and seven rebounds. The game was the second and final installment of Rajon Rondo’s suspension.
Seven players reached double-digit scoring for Minnesota as they rolled over the Philadelphia 76ers, 105-88. Philly lost their only lead early in the first quarter, and the Timberwolves went on to explode for 65 first-half points. Minnesota’s bench outscored Philly’s by a 57-23 difference, led by rookie Alexey Shved’s 17 points. Josh Howard started at small forward in place of an injured Andrei Kirilenko and recorded his first double-double in three years (16 points, 10 rebounds).
Last Time Out: March 30, 2012
Kevin Garnett got the best of his old team in his old arena as he led the Celtics to a 100-79 road victory against the Wolves.
Garnett, who spent the first 12 years of his career in Minnesota, went off for 24 points and 10 rebounds; he also performed on the defensive end, holding Kevin Love (22 points, 11 boards) below his season average. The matchup was testy and physical, and Garnett knocked down plenty of open shots (12-of-18 from the field) to make his return to the Target Center a statement.
"We've been watching, keeping track of all his accolades and what he's been doing of late," Garnett said of Love; Garnett moved on to a 6-0 record against the Wolves since his trade. "If y'all know anything about me, you know that I was more than ready and prepared tonight."
Luke Ridnour had 15 points and eight assists for Minnesota, while Derrick Williams logged 14 points of his own; center Nikola Pekovic was sidelined with bone spurs in his ankle.
Key Matchup: Paul Pierce and Josh Howard
There are several interesting battles going on in this game, including the rematch of the Kevins. Also, you can bet that Rajon Rondo will be giving his top effort against Luke Ridnour coming off a two-game suspension from the league. But keep your eye on Paul Pierce going against Josh Howard.
Both are NBA veterans of more than a decade, with Howard in his 10th year and Pierce in his 15th. Howard was just recently thrust into a starting role with the Wolves and broke out against Philly with 16 points and 10 rebounds; Pierce will be a handful for him defensively, as the crafty scorer is averaging a cool 19.2 points per game to lead his squad. Will Howard continue to produce for Minnesota after his first double-double in three years? Will Pierce—who has never shot below 41 percent in any season—get the best of him? There are expectations for Howard on both ends of the court going into Wednesday.
The Timberwolves remain without Andrei Kirilenko in this matchup, as he did not make the trip due to back spasms. The Celtics remain relatively healthy, though they’re missing backup guard Avery Bradley with a dislocated left shoulder. He’s scheduled to be out until mid-December.
|Tonight's Probable Starters|
|PG||Luke Ridnour||Rajon Rondo|
|SG||Malcolm Lee||Jason Terry|
|SF||Josh Howard||Paul Pierce|
|PF||Kevin Love||Brandon Bass|
|C||Nikola Pekovic||Kevin Garnett|