Scouting Report: Wolves (7-5) vs. Clippers (7-4) | Nov. 20, 2013

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Scouting Report: Wolves (7-5) vs. Clippers (7-4) | Nov. 20, 2013


Timberwolves vs. Clippers | 7:00 PM — Target Center

Where to Watch: Fox Sports North

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM

The Los Angeles Clippers last played on Monday and they were able to travel to Minnesota on Tuesday to prepare for Wednesday’s game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves? Not so lucky. The Wolves played on Tuesday night in Washington and had to whip around in order to make it back for Wednesday night’s game. It marked Minnesota’s fourth back-to-back of the season and second in which the Clippers will be on the back end of it. Good timing for Doc Rivers and his crew.

The Clippers (7-4) are currently tied for sixth place, while the Wolves (7-5) sit in eighth place.

These two teams matchup pretty well. They both have superstar players in Chris Paul and Kevin Love with a nice supporting cast on each side. The Clippers have Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick and DeAndre Jordan, while the Wolves have Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic.

The difference could very well come down to the bench. The Clippers have veterans like Matt Barnes, Darren Collison and Jamal Crawford coming off the bench. The Wolves have Dante Cunningham and J.J. Barea, but after that it’s a bit of a guess. Robbie Hummel has been very effective for the team as of late.

Paul might be a bit gun shy in this one after getting kicked in the face by Tony Allen of the Grizzlies on Monday night. We don’t think anyone will use their legs to kick Mr. Paul in the face, but there is a good chance a certain point guard could go through the legs of a few Los Angeles defenders.

Last Meeting

The two teams last faced off about a week and a half ago at the Staples Center. The Clippers came away with a close 109-107 win. Minnesota had three chances to tie the game with 11 seconds left, but the Wolves were unable to send the game to overtime.

Guard Kevin Martin shot an unbalanced jump shot that was deep. Center Nikola Pekovic corralled the rebound and put up a baby hook shot, but that was off as well. With the clock expiring, Kevin Love tried to tap it in and point-blank range, but was short.

Martin led the Wolves with 30 points, while hitting 4-of-8 3-pointers. Both Love and Pekovic scored 23 points. Love added 19 rebounds and seven assists, while Pekovic hauled in 10 boards.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 25 points and 10 rebounds. All-Star guard Chris Paul scored 21 points while adding 11 assists. DeAndre Jordan scored 14 points and finished with 11 rebounds while shooting 7-of-8 from the field.

The difference in the game was the bench play. Jamal Crawford had 18 points for the Clippers, helping them to 40 points off the bench. The Wolves had just 17 combined points off the pine.

Fun Fact: Love became the first player in NBA history with at least four 3-pointers, 19 rebounds and seven assists in a game. Not a bad little night for K-Love.

This Week’s Results

Wolves Minute

Nov. 20, 2013

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The Wolves dropped a 104-100 decision in Washington on Tuesday night—a game Minnesota would desperately like to have back as they try to compile wins early on in this season. Minnesota led by double-digits at the half, but the Wizards’ transition game helped them bounce back in the third, and a Martell Webster 3-pointer late in the fourth helped seal the win. The Wolves missed three free throws down the stretch that didn’t help their cause, and it ended up costing them a winnable road game. Kevin Love led the team with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Corey Brewer had 16 points, Nikola Pekovic had 13 and J.J. Barea had 12. Kevin Martin had 11, and Ricky Rubio had 10.

Before Tuesday’s game, Minnesota had a back-to-back, playing at the Denver Nuggets on Friday before hosting the Boston Celtics on Saturday. The Wolves split those games, losing 117-113 to the Nuggets before defeating the Celtics 106-88.

The Clippers are coming off a rare home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, 106-102. It marked their first home loss of the season.

The Clippers shot just 39.5 percent from the field, compared to a mark of 48.1 percent mark from the Grizzlies. Griffin scored a team-high 23 points while bringing in 11 rebounds. Paul had 18 points and 11 assists, but he shot just 5-of-14 from the field. Both J.J. Redick and Matt Barnes had 12 points.

Previous to that, the Clippers were on a four-game winning streak, having defeated Brooklyn, Oklahoma City, Minnesota and Houston. Three of those four games were at home and only one was by more than 10 points.

What To Watch: Nikola Pekovic vs. DeAndre Jordan

One plays above the rim. One is very effective below it. One looks like he is a bouncer at the local club. One looks like he could bounce out of a club… by jumping. You know, bounce? Nothing? Okay… We’ll move on.

Both, though, are two of the best centers in the Western Conference.

Jordan is averaging 11.2 points, 13.5 rebounds (third in NBA) and 2.3 blocks (fifth in NBA) per game.

While he is shooting 60 percent (fifth in NBA) from the field, 77 of his 80 shots this season have come underneath the basket. To stop Jordan means to get him out of the paint, but then again, it’s tricky because then you open up the lane for Paul to penetrate and dish, or finish for that matter.

Pekovic is averaging 13.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest. After a somewhat slow start, Pekovic has been hot lately, finishing with 20 or more points in two of his last five games and 10 or more rebounds in three of his last six games.

In their first matchup this season, Pekovic got the best of Jordan, scoring a then season-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds. Jordan had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Injury Report

The Wolves will have Chase Budinger (knee) in the building, but he will not be suiting up. Budinger said that right now, he’s taking things “week-to-week” regarding his progress from knee surgery. Center Ronny Turiaf (elbow) is out indefinitely. Rookie wing Shabazz Muhammad is expected to be available after spraining his ankle in Los Angeles on Nov. 10.

The Clippers look to be at full strength.

Probable Starters

  Timberwolves Clippers
PG Ricky Rubio Chris Paul
SG Kevin Martin J.J. Redick
SF Corey Brewer Jared Dudley
PF Kevin Love Blake Griffin
C Nikola Pekovic DeAndre Jordan


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.