9 P.M. at PHOENIX • Ch. 29, 830-AM
Preview: The 23-46 Suns have lost five of their past six games and seven of their last nine after Wednesday’s 88-79 home loss to Washington, but they had won three in a row before that, including an 84-83 overtime victory over the Wolves a month ago. They thumped the Kobe-less Lakers by 23 points Monday at home. … The Suns have won 11 of the past 13 games against the Wolves and have swept the season series every year since 2003-04, when Kevin Garnett led the Wolves to the Western Conference finals. The Wolves won the season’s first meeting 111-107 at Target Center on Dec. 29 and lost in overtime at Phoenix on Feb. 26.
Player to watch: Much has changed for former Timberwolf Wes Johnson since these teams last played three weeks ago. He moved into the starting lineup six days after that and has gone from little-used to playing 37 and 38 minutes in the past two games. He has scored 14 or more points in five of eight games as a starter and is averaging better than 12 points a game in that time. He hit a buzzer-beating three that forced overtime in a victory over mighty San Antonio on Feb. 27 and his March emergence very well might have started with a 14-point, 36-minute against the Wolves the night before.
Injuries: The list finally is shrinking for the Wolves: F Kevin Love (hand surgery), G Brandon Roy (knees) and G Malcolm Lee (knee, hip surgeries) are out. Suns C Marcin Gortat (sprained foot) has missed the past eight games and is listed as out. So, too, is F Channing Frye (enlarged heart).