7 P.M. VS Houston • target ctr. • fsn+, 830-AM
Preview: With just 10 players available, including three starters, the Timberwolves hit a second-half wall in Wednesday’s loss to Chicago. Houston is in fourth place in the Western Conference, 1½ games ahead of Portland with home-court advantage in the first round at stake. The Rockets had their three-game winning streak halted in Denver on Wednesday.
Players to watch: Wolves F Kevin Love needs 80 points over the final four games to pass Kevin Garnett (1,987) for the franchise record for scoring in a single season. ... PG Ricky Rubio is averaging 16.6 points in five April games. … Rockets G James Harden has averaged 23.5 points, five rebounds and 6.5 assists vs. the Wolves this season.
Numbers: The Wolves have lost four in a row to Houston, including all three games this season. The Rockets’ average margin of victory over the Wolves this season is 17.3 points. F Chandler Parsons has averaged 17.7 points, six rebounds and five assists vs. the Wolves this season.
Injuries: Wolves F Chase Budinger (ankle) and F Shabazz Muhammad (knee) are out; G Kevin Martin (foot) and Nikola Pekovic (ankle) are doubtful; F Kevin Love (elbow) is probable; G J.J. Barea (back spasms) is questionable. Rockets C Dwight Howard (ankle) is listed as day-to-day but has missed seven straight games; G Patrick Beverley (right knee) has not played since March 27 and is doubtful; F/C Greg Smith (knee) is out.