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Chase for eighth: Wolves, Kings pursuing final playoff spot tonight

The Timberwolves tonight in Sacramento play a Kings team in which they and four other teams are competing for the West's eighth and final playoff spot.

The Kings trail Denver by a game and the Wolves are three games behind, with the Kings, Potrland and Dallas between them and the Nuggets.

They're also playing a Kings team changed by last week's trade that sent star center DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans and brought back No. 6 overall pick Buddy Hield and a protected first-round pick, among other pieces.

The Kings have started a long home-stand 1-1 since then while the Pelicans are 0-3 while trying to integrate Cousins with fellow big man Anthony Davis. They beat Denver 116-100 Thursday night and lost 99-85 to Charlotte on Saturday afternoon.

The Wolves have those two games to study a Kings team that now by necessity is playing smaller and faster, but Tom Thibodeau said that's plenty.

"But you know the players, it's not like you don't," Thibodeau said. "Buddy Hield, we've played against. Some of their young guys getting a chance to play, you studied them in college as well. There are no bad players in this league. You've got to be ready for everyone. They're going to play hard. They're good off the dribble. The strength of their club changes obviously when DeMarcus goes, but that gives other guys an opportunity to do some things."

That includes second-year reserve forward Willie Cauley-Stein, a Kentucky teammate of Karl Anthony Towns for a year. He had a 29-point, 10-rebound game against the Nuggets, then came back with two points and two rebounds against the Hornets.

Towns said he and Cauley-Stein have "talked a good amount" since last week's trade.

"I just real happy for him," Towns said. "He's getting an opportunity right now to play the game."

Towns and Wiggins in Houston: Chasing, surpassing KG

In Friday's home victory over Dallas, Andrew Wiggins caught Kevin Garnett in the chase for a rare piece of Wolves' history.

Tonight at Houston, he gets the chance to set a club mark if he reaches 20 points for a 17th consecutive game.

Garnett scored 20 or more in 16 consecutive games twice during his time in Minnesota. Wiggins caught him Friday and now can move by him.

Lost in his chase: Teammate Karl-Anthony Towns has scored 20 or more points now in 13 consecutive games himself. Only Wiggins, KG and Kevin Love have longer such streaks in team history.

Remember, tonight's game is another of those 8 p.m. Saturday starts Central time, so it doesn't conflict with ABC's 7:30 p.m. window for its national game of the week, Chicago and Cleveland this week.

One other thing about tonight's game: Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said 90 minutes before the opening tip that starting guard Patrick Beverley would not play because of tightness in his groin.

About 45 minutes later, Beverley told my Houston beat-writing colleague Jonathan Feigen, "Coach was wrong. It feels cool. There's no source like the main source."

Beverley is tonight's starting lineup.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Miami at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • Los Angeles at Wild

    7 pm on NBCSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Sacramento

    9:30 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Tampa Bay at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • Wild at Winnipeg

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Pittsburgh at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Utah

    8 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Twins at Baltimore (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • Gophers women's basketball vs. Penn State

    5:30 pm on BTN

  • Nebraska at Gophers men's basketball

    6 pm on ESPN, 1500-AM

  • Wild at Columbus

    6 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Philadelphia (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • Gophers men's hockey at Michigan

    5:30 pm on ESPNEWS, 1500-AM

  • Minnesota United FC at Portland

    8:30 pm on FS1

  • Toronto at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Gophers women's hockey vs. UMD

    5:07 pm

  • Gophers men's hockey at Michigan

    7:30 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Twins at Washington (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • Wisconsin at Gophers men's basketball

    5 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • St. Louis at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on FSN

Poll: What do you think of the Wild's trade with Arizona?

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Today's Scoreboard

  • NY Yankees

    Baltimore

     

    - F

    4

    1

  • St. Louis

    Boston

     

    - F

    7

    2

  • Atlanta

    Detroit

     

    - F

    7

    10

  • Miami

    Minnesota

     

    - F

    6

    9

  • Tampa Bay

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    7

    2

  • Washington

    St. Louis

     

    - F

    4

    5

  • Pittsburgh

    Toronto

     

    - F

    2

    1

  • Houston

    NY Mets

     

    - F

    5

    2

  • Kansas City

    Seattle

     

    - F

    14

    3

  • Chicago White Sox

    Chicago Cubs

     

    - Bot 4th

    0

    2

  • Texas

    Cleveland

     

    - Bot 4th

    2

    1

  • Colorado

    LA Dodgers

     

    - Bot 3rd

    1

    0

  • Oakland

    San Francisco

     

    - Bot 4th

    4

    1

  • Milwaukee

    Texas

     

    - Bot 5th

    2

    0

  • Cincinnati

    Arizona

     

    - Bot 5th

    0

    3

  • San Diego

    LA Angels

     

    - Bot 5th

    2

    3

No NFL games today

  • Milwaukee

    Cleveland

    6:00 PM

    TNT

  • Toronto

    New York

    6:00 PM

  • Golden State

    Philadelphia

    6:00 PM

  • Atlanta

    Boston

    6:30 PM

  • Miami

    Dallas

    7:30 PM

  • Indiana

    Houston

    8:30 PM

    TNT

  • Minnesota

    Sacramento

    9:30 PM

  • Montreal

    New Jersey

    6:00 PM

  • Ottawa

    Tampa Bay

    6:30 PM

  • Los Angeles

    Minnesota

    7:00 PM

    NBC Sports

No MLS games today