8:30 p.m. vs. L.A. Clippers • FSN/ESPN, 830-am
Paths differ for Wolves, Clippers
Wolves update: The Wolves won their first three games this season and sat at 10-8 heading into a very winnable home game against Memphis on Dec. 1. But they dropped that game and haven’t won since, losing six in a row to fall a season-worst four games under .500. ... Defense continues to be a culprit, as the Wolves have by far the worst defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) in the NBA during their losing streak. ... F Jake Layman (toe) continues to be out, and there’s no clear timetable for his return. The Wolves are 8-6 when he plays and 2-8 since he was injured. F Keita Bates-Diop missed Wednesday’s loss to Utah because of flu-like symptoms, and his status will be re-evaluated before Friday’s game.
Clippers update: The Clippers underwent a major transformation in the offseason with the additions of stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and so far the results have been positive. L.A. is 19-7 overall and 12-2 in its past 14 games. The Clippers started the year just 1-4 on the road, but they’re 5-2 since then — including 3-1 on this six-game trip. ... The Clippers’ surge has coincided with the return of George, who missed the first 11 games of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. ... Leonard has not been playing back-to-back games this season, so his status for Friday is unclear with the Clippers set to also play Saturday in Chicago.