Preview: The Wolves have won four of five games and five of seven. They are 4-6 on the road. The Hornets held an 11-point second-half lead at Oklahoma City on Wednesday, but a 34-point Thunder fourth quarter pushed New Orleans to a fifth straight loss and seventh in eight games.
Players to watch: Wolves C Nikola Pekovic had his first double-double in four games Wednesday with 22 points and 11 rebounds. F Andrei Kirilenko had 18 points, a block and four steals vs. Denver Wednesday. F Kevin Love is coming off a 3-for-17 shooting performance. ... F Ryan Anderson leads the Hornets in scoring (18.1) and is second in rebounds (7.7). No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, back from an ankle injury that sidelined him nearly a month, is averaging 15 points and 7.8 rebounds. G Greivis Vasquez is averaging 11.9 points and 8.2 assists.
Numbers: The Wolves and Hornets have split the past six meetings, with New Orleans winning last season's series 2-1. Minnesota is 9-20 on the road vs. the Hornets all-time.
Injuries: For the Wolves, PG Ricky Rubio (knee surgery), F Chase Budinger (knee surgery), G Brandon Roy (knee surgery) and G Malcolm Lee (hyper-extended knee) are out. F/G Josh Howard missed Wednesday night with an illness, but should be OK for Friday. The Hornets have played the entire season without G Eric Gordon (sore right knee).