wolves gameday

7 P.M. VS. new orleans • target center • fsn, 830-am

Preview: The Timberwolves, winners of four of their past five games, will make their 11th attempt to move above .500 since Thanksgiving. But they will have to do it without C Nikola Pekovic, who left Monday's game at Chicago midway through the first quarter because of bursitis around his right ankle and did not return. … The Pelicans will be playing on the back end of a back-to-back. New Orleans appears to be finding its way. After losing eight in a row, the Pelicans have won four of five after beating Cleveland 100-89 on Tuesday.

Players to watch: Kevin Love is coming off a 31-point effort against Chicago, his 11th game with 30 or more points this season. C Ronny Turiaf, playing in place of the injured Pekovic, scored 14 points with seven rebounds. F Chase Budinger hit five of seven shots for 12 points. … Pelicans F Anthony Davis is averaging 20.1 points per game and has become a clutch player, shooting 59.1 percent in the fourth quarter, second in the league among players averaging more than three attempts in the quarter. He also leads the league in blocks per game (3.1). G Eric Gordon is averaging 15.9 points and 3.2 assists per game.

Numbers: The Wolves shot a season-high 56 percent from the field in their 124-112 victory over New Orleans at Target Center on Jan. 1. Minnesota has won three consecutive games over the Pelicans. The Wolves' three victories on its recently concluded road trip were the most on one trip since December 2005.

Injuries: Pekovic, who saw a doctor Tuesday, is out. The injury-plagued Pelicans will be without F Ryan Anderson (herniated disk) and PG Jrue Holiday (right leg), their top scorers against the Wolves in the teams' last meeting, as well as C Jason Smith (knee).

kent youngblood