While struggling to close out games recently, the Los Angeles Clippers have watched their lead in the Pacific Division shrink.
Visiting the team at the bottom of the division might not help.
The Clippers will try to get a six-game road trip off to a good start Thursday night when they begin their season series with the Sacramento Kings, who have played well at home lately.
Los Angeles suffered its third loss in four games Tuesday, 109-97 to Minnesota.
The Clippers led by seven late in the third quarter but faded, unable to keep up with the Timberwolves depth. Minnesota, which opened the fourth quarter on a 17-6 run, received 72 bench points compared to 11 for Los Angeles.
Blake Griffin had 18 points and five rebounds in the first quarter before finishing with 30 points - one in the fourth - and seven boards. Chris Paul had 27 points, his average during the Clippers' 1-3 slump.
Caron Butler was 1 of 10 from the field for two points and is averaging 7.0 on 29.8 percent shoot...