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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.

Three Wolves players out tonight vs. Clippers

The Wolves wrap up this four-game trip tonight with the second of back-to-back games in Los Angeles, this one against the Clippers.

The Wolves again will play without Kevin Garnett, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic while the Clippers continue on -- and quite well -- without injured Blake Griffin.

There are four games left before next week's All-Star break. Martin said Tuesday he hopes to play again before that.

Those four games, by the way, also are the last four before the NBA's Feb. 18 trade deadline.

Griffin hasn't played since Christmas Day, first because of a partially torn quad and now because of a fractured hand after he punched an assistant equipment manager during a night out in Toronto.

The Clippers have done just fine without him, going 15-3 while now they wait for the results of an NBA investigation and while they wait for Griffin's hand to heal as well.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • North Dakota at Gophers women's hockey

    6:07 pm

  • Penn State at Gophers men's hockey

    7 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Penn State at Gophers men's hockey

    4 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • North Dakota at Gophers women's hockey

    4:07 pm

  • Chicago at Timberwolves

    7 pm on 830-AM

  • Wild at St. Louis

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • 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

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Today's Scoreboard

No NFL games today

  • Pittsburgh

    Tampa Bay

     

    - 3rd, 1:00

    3

    6

  • Carolina

    Winnipeg

     

    - 3rd, 7:00

    4

    2

  • Columbus

    Calgary

     

    - 2nd, 13:18

    0

    1

  • Arizona

    Anaheim

     

    - 1st, 17:27

    1

    0

  • LA Clippers

    Orlando

     

    - F

    107

    93

  • Philadelphia

    Washington

     

    - F

    94

    106

  • Miami

    Charlotte

     

    - F

    98

    95

  • Indiana

    Atlanta

     

    - F

    96

    102

  • Sacramento

    Brooklyn

     

    - F

    119

    128

  • Boston

    Cleveland

     

    - F

    104

    103

  • Memphis

    New York

     

    - F

    91

    85

  • Chicago

    Denver

     

    - 2nd, 1:05

    52

    51

  • Milwaukee

    Utah

     

    - H

    44

    40

  • San Antonio

    Dallas

     

    - 2nd, 9:25

    34

    14

  • SK Brann

    D.C.

    9:00 AM

No MLB games today