wolves game day
Vs. Portland, 7 p.m., TV: FSN (830-AM)
Preview: The Wolves have lost four in a row and are coming off a one-sided loss to Denver, one coach Flip Saunders said was probably the most disappointing loss the team had suffered in two months. With a day off and a day of practice, the Wolves figure to be fresher Saturday. They will face a Portland team on a five-game winning streak, but one reeling from the loss of Wes Matthews for the rest of the season to a torn left Achilles’ tendon. The good news for Portland? Their move to acquire Arron Afflalo in a trade with Denver in February is looking downright prescient.
Players to watch: Wolves F/G Andrew Wiggins, who has averaged 21.0 points over his past three games, got his first career double-double vs. Portland on Dec. 10. In his return after missing a game due to illness, G Kevin Martin failed to score in double figures for the first time in 17 games. Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge is coming off a 17-point, 12-rebound performance vs. Dallas. G Damian Lillard leads the Blazers in scoring (21.3) and assists (6.2).
Numbers: Matthews was fourth in the NBA in three-pointers made when he was hurt and was third on the Blazers in scoring. … The Timberwolves’ victory over Portland on Dec. 10 at Target Center was just the fourth in the Wolves’ past 29 meetings between the teams.
Injuries: Wolves F Anthony Bennett (ankle), F Robbie Hummel (hand) and F Shabazz Muhammad (finger) are out. C Nikola Pekovic (foot/ankle) and G Gary Neal (right hand) are probable. Blazers G Wes Matthews (Achilles’) is out.