Preview: The Hornets, who had the day off Friday while the Timberwolves were losing to the Knicks for the second time in three nights, have won three out of four games since ending a four-game losing streak. Their 11-8 record is good for fourth in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte has beaten the Wolves six straight times and four in a row in Charlotte. This game ends a difficult stretch for the Wolves. It will be Minnesota’s fourth game in six nights. The game will end the fourth of 14 back-to-backs on the team’s schedule this season; Minnesota is 2-1 on the back end of the first three.
Players to watch: Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker has been a problem for the Wolves. Walker, who is averaging a career-high 23.9 points on 46.9 percent shooting, well above his career averages of 17.7 and 40.7, has scored nearly 25 points per game in his past three games vs. the Wolves. He had 30 points in the Hornets’ 115-108 victory at Target Center Nov. 15. G Nicolas Batum had 11 of his 16 points in the third quarter of that game, when the Hornets used a 36-17 third quarter to erase a 12-point halftime lead and take control of the game. Former University of Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky, averaging just 10.9 points this season, had 20 points in that game.
Injuries: Hornets F Marvin Williams (left knee bone bruise) has missed four games and is questionable.