Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Preview
New Orleans at Minnesota
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 6, 2018
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Minnesota Timberwolves will try to bounce back from a difficult road trip and continue their success against the Western Conference when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday. Losses at Brooklyn and Boston dropped Minnesota to 4-10 versus the East and it returns to the Target Center with a 20-6 mark against its own conference, including 11-1 at home.

Karl-Anthony Towns needed some more support in Friday's 91-84 loss to the Celtics, as the Timberwolves' big man produced 25 points and 23 rebounds for his NBA-leading 32nd double-double. "I think we did a pretty good job defensively making it hard on them. We just didn't make the shots we needed to make," Towns told reporters. "We fought very hard offensively. It just was a funky night for us." The Pelicans have won three straight on the road after a 108-98 victory at Utah on Wednesday. Star big men Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 48 points, 26 rebounds and five steals as New Orleans shot 50 percent from the floor, 46.7 percent from 3-point distance and 100 percent (12-of-12) from the foul line.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS New Orleans, FS North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE PELICANS (19-18): Jrue Holiday has scored at least 23 points in three of his last four games and was 10-for-16 from the floor in the win over Utah. "I just started being aggressive," Holiday said after his 24-point performance in Salt Lake City. "I saw an opportunity to score, took those opportunities and made the best of them." The UCLA product had 27 points in the previous meeting with the Timberwolves while Davis and Cousins were held to 17 points apiece, leaving them nearly 18 below their combined average.

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (24-16): Minnesota's scoring output at Boston represents a season low and leading scorer Jimmy Butler's off-night was a big reason why. The three-time All-Star had scored at least 20 points in nine straight games before he was held to 14 on 3-of-12 shooting. Andrew Wiggins also finished 3-for-12 from the floor but he should be happy to see the Pelicans, against whom he is averaging 23 points and seven rebounds this season.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Davis is averaging 31.5 points over his last four games.

2. Towns is averaging 22.3 points and 12.3 rebounds at home.

3. Despite losing the first two meetings this season, New Orleans has taken 10 of the last 14.

PREDICTION: Pelicans 110, Timberwolves 106
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
New Orleans 19-18 W1 9-9 10-9 0-1 19-17 2-3 10-13
Minnesota 24-16 L2 13-6 11-10 2-0 22-16 7-1 20-6
Last Meeting
New Orleans Minnesota
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/29/17 MIN 120 NO 102 102 28 46.4 120 44 58.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New Orleans J. Holiday 27 50.0 2
Minnesota A. Wiggins 28 55.6 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New Orleans D. Cousins 10 3 7
Minnesota T. Gibson 10 2 8
Assists Player  
New Orleans R. Rondo 7
Minnesota T. Jones 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New Orleans D. Cousins 1026 47.9 240
Minnesota J. Butler 860 47.1 241
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New Orleans D. Cousins 488 78 410
Minnesota K. Towns 479 109 370
Assists Player  
New Orleans D. Cousins 207
Minnesota J. Teague 234
Quickchart Matchup
New Orleans New Orleans Off vs  Minnesota Minnesota Defense
New Orleans Off vs Minnesota - Points For 111.1 Points For
New Orleans Off vs Minnesota - Points Against 105.4 Points Against
New Orleans - FG% 49.0 FG%
Minnesota - FG% 47.7 FG%
New Orleans - Reb 42.8 Reb
Minnesota - Reb 41.3 Reb
Minnesota Minnesota Off vs  New Orleans New Orleans Defense
Minnesota Off vs New Orleans - Points For 107.8 Points For
Minnesota Off vs New Orleans - Points Against 110.9 Points Against
Minnesota - FG% 47.3 FG%
New Orleans - FG% 46.5 FG%
Minnesota - Reb 41.4 Reb
New Orleans - Reb 43.3 Reb