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Wolves looking for some 'mo' against battered Bulls

The Wolves are back from their four-game Western trip looking to build a little momentum going into these final three games before All-Star break, starting with tonight's game against Chicago at Target Center.

The Wolves went 1-3 on that trip, but won the last game, 108-102 over a Clippers team that was rolling before Wednesday's game.

Tonight, they play a Bulls' team that is end a six-game trip hurting in all sorts of way after last night's loss at Denver. They played without Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Nikola Mirotic, Mike Dunleavy and Kirk Hinrich in that one and then saw star Jimmy Butler carted off the court after injuring his knee. The team last night called it a sprained knee.

"We played a really good game agaisnt the Clippers on a back-to-back and we want to build from there," Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio said. "We played a bad first half against the Lakers (Tuesday in Los Angeles) but did a pretty good job in the second half trying to get back in the game. Then Portland and Utah, it was a four-game trip where I felt we could have won more than one game, but we won the most difficult one and we're going to build momentum from there."

After tonight's game, the Wolves play New Orleans on Monday and Toronto on Wednesday. All three games are at Target Center before the Wolves get a nine-day All-Star break.

"It we play like we did against the Clippers -- play aggressive, sharing the ball, getting some stops at the end -- it's going to be three tough games, but I think we can win all of there of them," Rubio said.

A couple other things:

* Kevin Garnett (knee), Nikola Pekovic (foot) and Kevin Martin (wrist) all again are not expected to play tonight.

* Remember: No local TV tonight because FSN is dedicating its time and resources to broadcasting games from morning to night on Hockey Day in Minnesota. League Pass is your best bet, if you get it.

* Tonight is Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg's return to Target Center -- where he played and worked in the front office -- for the first time as an NBA head coach.

* Teammates after shootaround this morning predicted another slam-dunk title for Zach LaVine at All-Star weekend in Toronto but Rubio didn't have much faith that big Karl-Anthony Towns will fare well in the skills challenge. The NBA has invited big men Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Draymond Green to compete alongside the little guys on All Star Saturday next week.

"Guards are quicker," Rubio said. "That's just the way it is."

Zach LaVine is planning his slam-dunk strategy

Now that he has officially announced that he’ll be defending his slam dunk title at NBA All Star Weekend, it’s time for Zach LaVine to get down to business and prepare some new, flashy moves.

LaVine blew away the competition last year while winning the event as a rookie. He said he thought twice about defending his title, for a couple reasons. First, people will expect even more of him this time around. And, he said, he doesn’t want to be known for just dunking.

Still, the lure to compete in the event was strong.

“It’s going to be hard to up yourself,” he said. “People will expect you to do better. I’ll have to think about some new stuff. It takes a lot of work. You have to do a lot of jumping. There’s not a lot of time.’’

LaVine said he will scout his opposition for sure; he’ll be going up against Denver’s Will Barton, Orlando’s Aaron Gordon and Detroit’s Andre Drummond.

“I’m going to do my homework,” he said. “You can’t go in there blind. You have to get a feel for what everybody brings to the table.’’

Once he has come up with the dunks he plans to use – he said he still has some tricks up his sleeve – he has to decide what order to do them in during the four-dunk event.

“I go with a knockout punch in the first round,” he said. “That’s what I did last year, and that’s what I’m going to do this year also. So I’ll come our hard.’’

Last year LaVine opened the contest that way. Wearing Michael Jordan’s jersey from Space Jam, LaVine opened with a between-the-legs reverse dunk.

Meanwhile:

--Interim coach Sam Mitchell said Kevin Garnett (knee), Kevin Martin (wrist) and Nikola Pekovic (foot) all missed practice today. Martin is officially listed as questionable, Martin and Garnett doubtful.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Penn State at Gophers men's hockey

    4 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • North Dakota at Gophers women's hockey

    4:07 pm

  • Wild at St. Louis

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Chicago at Timberwolves

    7 pm on 830-AM

  • Gophers women's basketball at Northwestern

    2 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • New Orleans at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Dallas at Wild

    7 pm on NBCSN, 100.3-FM

  • Toronto at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Michigan at Gophers men's basketball

    8 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Nebraska at Gophers women's basketball

    7 pm on 1500-AM

  • Washington at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers men's hockey at Ohio State

    5:30 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Minnesota Duluth

    7:07 pm

  • Boston at Wild

    1 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

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Today's Scoreboard

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  • Washington

    New Jersey

     

    - 4th, 5:00

    2

    2

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    Philadelphia

     

    - End 4th

    2

    2

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    Detroit

     

    - End 2nd

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    4

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    Montreal

     

    - 2nd, 4:36

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    3

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    Boston

    6:00 PM

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    Florida

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    Ottawa

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    St. Louis

    7:00 PM

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    Vancouver

    9:00 PM

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    Colorado

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    Houston

    4:00 PM

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    Indiana

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    Charlotte

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    6:30 PM

    FSN

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    Minnesota

    7:00 PM

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    Memphis

    7:00 PM

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    San Antonio

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    8:00 PM

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    Los Angeles

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