Scouting Report: Wolves at Pistons

Wolves (25-38) at Pistons (23-39) - 6:30 PM The Palace of Auburn Hills
Where to Watch: No Local/NBA League Pass
A viewing party will be held at Bar 508 Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis beginning at 6 PM
Where to Listen: 830 AM WCCO

*Get your questions on the radio airwaves during halftime! Just tweet questions to @WolvesRadio and listen to the halftime show hosted by John Focke on WCCO 830 AM.

With three games remaining, the Timberwolves come into their game against the Pistons tonight on an 11-game losing streak, their most recent a 91-84 loss to the Grizzlies on Tuesday.

Even with a season-high 28 points from Wolves guard JJ Barea, including five 3-pointers, the Wolves couldn’t hang on to their comeback from a 32-22 first-quarter deficit. Wolves center Nikola Pekovic added 16 points and 11 rebounds. For Memphis, forward Rudy Gay finished with 28 points and nine rebounds, with Zach Randolph adding 16 points and 11 rebounds.

After a 116-77 blow-out over the Cavaliers on Monday, Detroit lost in reverse fashion last night in Atlanta. The Hawks were up 72-42 at the half and didn’t look back, handing the Pistons a 116-84 setback. Pistons center Greg Monroe scored a team-high 17 points, and reserve guard Walker Russell added 15. Six Hawks players scored in double digits, led by Tracy McGrady’s 17 points, and the Hawks saw a season-high 72 points out of their bench.

Last time out

The Wolves have only faced the Pistons once this season, a 93-85 win at Target Center on January 18. Forward Kevin Love scored 20 points and grabbed 17 boards for the Wolves, but it was strong late-game defense that sealed the game, holding the Pistons to 14 points in the final quarter. Tayshaun Prince led Detroit in scoring with 29 points but was held to four in the fourth quarter.

Timberwolves Wes Johnson, Anthony Tolliver and Pekovic added 11 points each. Pistons guard Ben Gordon added 18 points, and center Greg Monroe added 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Wolves Minute with John Focke

Key matchup: Pekovic vs. Monroe

With Love’s status questionable after suffering a mild concussion during the April 11 game against the Nuggets, Pekovic has been called upon to bring a presence inside. Coming off an injury of his own (bone spurs on his right ankle), Pekovic has averaged 13.1 points per game in the Wolves’ last 10, including a pair of 17-point performances in Sacramento on April 2 and against the Clippers on April 12.

Monroe has averaged 15 points per game in the Pistons’ last 10, scoring 22 points against the Magic on April 3 and 25 points against the Bobcats on April 12.

Beasley stepping up

The Wolves will need a strong offensive showing from forward Michael Beasley tonight in Detroit. Beasley, who is coming off a seven-point effort on Tuesday against the Grizzlies, has scored in double figures in five of the past seven games. He scored 20 points against the Hornets on April 7 and 26 points against the Thunder on April 14. He’s shooting 48.8 percent from the field this month, up from his 44.8 percent for the season.

Injury report

Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour has missed the last eight games due to a right ankle sprain incurred in Sacramento April 2. Love has missed the last four games due to a concussion, and center Darko Milicic has missed the last 10 games with a strained right hamstring.

Catch the game at Bar 508

Although tonight’s Wolves vs. Pistons game is not on local television, fans can catch all the action at Bar 508 in downtown Minneapolis. The game will be available via the NBA League Pass package, and the viewing party, which begins at 6 p.m., is free and open to the public. Wolves mascot Crunch and the Timberwolves dancers will be on hand to give away exclusive Wolves prizes, including autographed team merchandise and tickets.

You can become a part of the Wolves Radio Network by Howling at the Wolves during halftime! Just tweet questions to @WolvesRadio or @JWFocke and Studio Host John Focke and Coach Steve Brown will answer them on 830 WCCO and the Wolves Radio Network.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.