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7 P.M. VS. ATLANTA • TARGET CENTER • FSN, 830-AM

Wolves-Atlanta preview

  • January 7, 2013 - 11:41 PM

Preview: The injury-depleted Timberwolves will embark on a four-game road trip following this game -- including games at Oklahoma City and San Antonio --so a victory at home, even without Kevin Love, is important. But it won't be easy: Atlanta's 9-6 road record is second-best in the Eastern Conference and fifth-best in the NBA. The Hawks have won 11 in a row over the Wolves; the last Wolves victory came at Target Center in April 2006.

Players to watch: Wolves F Andrei Kirilenko is one steal away from 1,000 for his career and one assist away from 2,000. ... F Derrick Williams is shooting 49 percent in his past 18 games. ... All five Hawks starters are averaging in double figures, led by G Lou Williams (15.3) and C Al Horford (15.8 points). Horford also averages 9.7 rebounds per game.

Numbers: The Wolves have yet to win this season (0-6) when scoring fewer than 90 points. ... Atlanta is sixth in the NBA in points allowed; only three teams have shot better than .500 this season against Atlanta. ... Atlanta's 10-5 record in December was tied for the best in the Eastern Conference.

Injuries: For the Wolves, F Love (hand), F Chase Budinger (knee), G Brandon Roy (knee) and G Malcolm Lee (knee) are out. G Ricky Rubio (back) and C Nikola Pekovic (hip) are probable. For Atlanta, G Devin Harris (foot) and G/F Anthony Morrow (hip) are doubtful.

KENT YOUNGBLOOD

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