Suns-Timberwolves Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 29, 2012
Love84034369
Things were supposed to be easier for the Minnesota Timberwolves with the return of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. But with Love trying to find his shot and Rubio still playing limited minutes, the team is struggling. A home game Saturday night against the sputtering Phoenix Suns would seem to be a good chance to get back on track, but the Timberwolves have lost 10 of 11 in the series and the last six played in Minneapolis. Minnesota (13-13) has lost four of five and badly needs Love to right himself. Love, who missed the season's first nine games with a broken right hand, actually shot better from 3-point range last season (37.2) than he is currently shooting from the field (35.5). He is also hitting only 22.5 percent of his shots from long distance this year. The two-time All-Star played one of his worst games Wednesday as Minnesota suffered an 87-84 home loss to Houston. Love scored seven points on 3-of-14 shooting, missed all seven shots from beyond the arc and matched a season worst with five turnovers. It was the fourth time in six games he shot less than 30.0 percent. "It's just something he's going to work through and play through," coach Rick Adelman told the team's official website. "You know, he's really important in the way we play. He's making shots that open things up for everybody, especially (Nikola Pekovic) inside, so it's just something he's got to work through." Love isn't too concerned with his cold spell. "People are meant to get out of slumps," he said. Wednesday's game also marked the sixth time the Timberwolves have lost a contest in which they led entering the fourth quarter. They led by as many as 14 in the third but shot 35.3 percent in the final frame while committing five turnovers. Love hasn't helped matters in fourth quarters, averaging 3.4 points and shooting 30.4 percent. "I think every game we've played, we've been in, and we've had a chance," Adelman said. "But we have to learn how to finish games some time." Rubio has played in five games since returning from a torn ACL suffered last season and is averaging 4.2 points and 4.0 assists in 18 minutes as he re-adjusts. Adelman said he is currently limited to 24 minutes a game. The Suns (11-19) have lost four in a row and seven straight road games with Friday's 97-91 setback at Indiana. Phoenix's already middle-of-the-road offense (97.1 ppg) has struggled of late, averaging 89.5 points and hitting 25.4 percent of its 3-point shots during the losing streak. It is also dealing with its own fourth-quarter issues, averaging 19.0 in the final period. "It's becoming a similar theme every night,'' Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "We start out great and then we get down and we have to fight all the way back." Point guard Goran Dragic - leading the team in scoring (14.1) and assists (6.2) - is questionable after sitting out Friday with a bruised hip, back and wrist he sustained Wednesday against New York. Sebastian Telfair started in his place, scoring a season-high 19 points with six assists. Saturday will mark forward Michael Beasley's first game against his former team after Minnesota declined to make him a qualifying offer in the offseason. He averaged a career-high 19.2 points for the Timberwolves two years ago but flamed out last season, playing a career-worst 23.1 minutes. Beasley's tenure with Phoenix hasn't started much better, as he's averaging career lows in points (10.5), rebounds (3.7) and shooting percentage (37.8).
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker