Preview: The Timberwolves, 2-4 since the All-Star Game break and coming off a season-worst 27-point loss in Dallas on Sunday, begin a difficult stretch of five games in seven days. The Wizards appear to be finding a rhythm as they attempt to redeem a season that began with great expectations. The Wizards have won six of eight since the All-Star break to pull within 1½ games of two teams tied for seventh in the East playoff race.

Players to watch: Wolves G Zach LaVine has averaged 16.8 points and 31.9 minutes in his past 15 games, shooting 50.3 percent. G/F Shabazz Muhammad is coming off a 24-point, 5-rebound effort in Dallas. C Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 21.8 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 blocks in his past 17 games. Washington G John Wall scored 37 points as the Wizards rallied to beat Philadelphia on Monday.

Numbers: Towns, already the odds-on favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year, is within a tenth of a point of Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor for the leading scorer among rookies. Towns is averaging 17.4 points per game and is first among rookies in rebounds and blocks. … The home team has won 10 of the past 11 games between the two teams. … The Wolves are 5-5 in their past 10.

Injuries: Wolves C Nikola Pekovic (foot/ankle), F Nemanja Bjelica (foot), F Kevin Garnett (knee) are out. Washington G Gary Neal (thigh) is questionable.

Kent Youngblood