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Timberwolves' Butler, down 0-2 to Rockets: 'I'm smiling, everybody's OK.'

The Timberwolves shot this morning at Target Center -- Houston didn't shoot -- before Game 3 tonight and Jimmy Butler was asked about the mood of a team that's trailing the best-of-seven series 0-2.

"We're still playing for something," Butler said. "Hell, it's the first one to four games. We're only down 0-2. So I'm smiling, everybody's OK. I got to tell everybody, don't pay attention to what everybody says. You pay attention to what goes on in there with those guys who are with you every single day. We'll be OK."

Butler echoed some of what Jeff Teague said Friday, that the Wolves need to play faster. Butler added that they need to be less predictable.

"We just have to go out there and hoop," Butler said. "Don't be as guardable. When we come down, we're calling plays every other time. It's easy to scout. It's not hard to know what plays we're going to call and who's going to get the ball. Just go out there and play. It's a lot of different."

Like Karl-Anthony Towns, Butler has been held down by the Rockets' defense the first two games. Still on the road back from February knee surgery and seen wearing a wrap on his wrist earlier this series, Butler was asked if he's healthy.

"Doesn't matter," he said. "I was telling guys out there day, nobody really cares if you're nicked up. You put on that jersey and you go out there and play. You've got to produce. You've got to do what they got you here to do, so 40, 50, 95 or 100 (percent), I'm out there playing. Nobody cares if I'm nicked up or not."

Don;'t forget: Tonight's game is a 6:30 p.m. start. The Wolves encourage everyone to arrive early because it's going to be a sellout crowd. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Wiggins says Wolves excited and ready for home playoff game

Down 0-2 in their first-round playoff series with Houston, the Wolves come home Saturday night for Game 3.

It's the franchise's first playoff game there since 2004, in an arena where they were 30-11 this season but lost twice to the Rockets.

"It feels good," Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins said after the Wolves practiced Friday afternoon at Mayo Clinic Square. "Houston took care of business up there and now we’ve got to do the same up here. I know the fans will be excited, the atmosphere will be crazy and the whole team, we’re confident. We’re ready."

The Wolves' last playoff game at Target Center was Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, a 98-96 victory that forced a Game 6 they lost in L.A.

"It's great," Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We've had great support all year and we certainly appreciate the support we've gotten. I know how hard this team has worked andfought to make it. You're trying to erase 14 years of losing. It's not an easy thing to do. This team has fought like crazy all year. We were basically a three-seed when Jimmy went down. We finished out game out of the fourth spot. I'm proud of what they've done and now our challenge is to win this next game."

Knowing they can't afford to go down 0-3, Wiggins compared Saturday's 6:30 p.m. game with the Wolves' overtime victory over Denver on the regular season's final day that pushed them into the playoffs and sent the Nuggets home.

"I think it'll be crazy, kind of like the Denver game," Wiggins said. "Fans were just screaming and into the game the whole time. We’re home. The fans will be into it. I’m excited. I know the guys are too."

Final, 4/21 1 2 3 4 F
Houston 2-1 28 23 24 30 105
Minnesota 1-2 27 25 35 34 121

NBA Scoreboard

  • Boston

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    102

    104

  • Golden State

    San Antonio

     

    - F

    90

    103

  • Toronto

    Washington

     

    - F

    98

    106

  • Cleveland

    Indiana

     

    - F

    104

    100

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