Preview: The Wolves, whose defensive problems have been primarily to blame for their recent four-game losing streak, head to New Orleans. The Hornets, with guard Eric Gordon back, beat Denver on Wednesday. It was New Orleans' second consecutive victory and its fifth in seven games.
Players to watch: Wolves G J.J. Barea had 15 points and eight assists in 36-plus minutes Wednesday, his first game back after missing six games because of a quad contusion. F Kevin Love is averaging 26 points and 9.3 rebounds in three April games. For New Orleans, Gordon, playing for the first time in three months, scored 15 points and had four assists in the Hornets' victory over Denver. G/F Trevor Ariza came back after missing four games because of a sore ankle to score 15.
Numbers: Minnesota has won three of the past five vs. New Orleans. Eight of the Wolves' past 16 games have been decided by six points or fewer. The Wolves have lost 17 consecutive games in April dating to the spring of 2009.
Injuries: C Darko Milicic (hamstring), G Luke Ridnour (ankle) and G Ricky Rubio (knee) are out. F Michael Beasley (big toe) practiced Friday and is probable. G J.J. Barea (quad contusion) returned to action Wednesday. For New Orleans, C Emeka Okafor (left knee) is out. C Chris Johnson (concussion) is listed as day-to-day. G Jarrett Jack (right foot) is questionable.