The Timberwolves departed for Minnesota after Wednesday’s 115-102 loss at Boston and, for a change, they will get to spend most of the next few weeks at home after crisscrossing the country the past few weeks.
Beginning with Friday’s matchup against Orlando, the Wolves will play six of their next eight at home after playing 10 of their previous 13 on the road and traveling to places as far away from each other as Portland and Miami.
They went 4-9 during that stretch.
“In the West, you have to be ready every night,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “You just concentrate on the next game, try to improve and play better, try to win the next one.”
The Wolves entered Thursday four games back of a playoff spot with the Lakers, the No. 8 seed if the playoffs began now, coming to town Sunday.
“We have to really take advantage,” forward Anthony Tolliver said. “We haven’t been great on the road this year. Better lately, but we just have to take advantage at home, make sure we come out of this stretch with a lot of wins so the next time we go out, have a little bit more momentum and confidence.”
The Wolves haven’t played well at home of late, losing winnable games against Atlanta and Detroit. But overall, home has been good to the Wolves. They are 12-6, and their defensive rating is 105.6 points allowed per 100 possessions, 8.4 points better than their road defensive rating.
Bench gets minutes
With Robert Covington added to the injury report with Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose, Thibodeau had to go to some little-used players on his bench Wednesday at Boston. Josh Okogie got the start for Covington, but Tolliver (26 minutes) ended up playing two more minutes than him. Tolliver had nine points, all on three-pointers. It was his most points since Oct. 29 against the Lakers.
“I felt fine. Just keep myself ready to go just in case something like that happens,” Tolliver said. “If [Thibodeau] throws me out there at the point, I’ll play the point. Guard whoever, do whatever. If I’m on the court, that’s all I care about.”
Perhaps Tolliver’s workload could be an indication that Thibodeau might play him more in future games.
James Nunnally also got some action in the first half while rookie Jared Terrell played three minutes toward the end of the game.
• Rose is second among Western Conference guards behind just Steph Curry in fan voting for the Feb. 17 All-Star Game. Fans account for 50 percent of the final vote, with current players and media members make up the rest. Starters will be announced Jan. 24.
• With his 31 points Wednesday, Andrew Wiggins became the seventh-youngest player in NBA history to reach the 7,000 point mark.
• Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points in the third quarter, the third time in his career he has scored 20 points in a quarter.
• Tyus Jones, starting at point guard, had 14 points, the third straight game he has scored in double figures.