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Wolves-Phoenix game preview

  • February 25, 2014 - 12:48 AM

8 p.m. at Phoenix • FSN, 830-AM

Preview: The surprising Suns had won nine of their last 12 before losing 115-112 to Houston at home on Sunday, but at 33-22, they stand seventh in the West and still aim at the playoffs. Included in that 12-game stretch was a 4-0 road trip that took them to Cleveland, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Indiana, where they beat the mighty Pacers. … The Suns had won 19 consecutive games when they scored 110 points or more before losing to the Rockets.

The Suns beat the Wolves 104-103 at Target Center in early January after they wiped away a nine-point deficit with 4:32 left and finished the game on a 16-6 run that included a game-winning shot by former Wolves swingman Gerald Green. The Suns have won 12 of the past 16 meetings between the teams.

Players to watch: The Suns have kept on winning even without star guard Eric Bledsoe, who has not played since Jan. 2 because of a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. He has begun scrimmaging 3-on-3 but is not ready for game action yet. Without him, backcourt mate Goran Dragic has continued his hot scoring. His 35-point performance Sunday is a career high, beating the 34 he scored against Golden State earlier this month. He has been named the Western Conference’s Player of the Week once this season.

Green, whom the Wolves acquired in that 2007 trade that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston and brought back Al Jefferson, Green and others, scored a career-high 36 points against Denver last week. He’s starting with Bledsoe out and is averaging nearly 15 points a game. The Suns are 11-5 in games in which he scores 20 or more points.

Injuries: Wolves center Nikola Pekovic (ankle bursitis) and guard Kevin Martin (fractured thumb) are questionable and center Ronny Turiaf (knee bone bruise) is out. Bledsoe and Suns center Emeka Okafor (back) are out; guard Leandro Barbosa has missed the past two games because of a sprained big toe and is listed as day-to-day.

JERRY ZGODA

 

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