The Minnesota Timberwolves are at their best when Karl-Anthony Towns is dominating in the frontcourt, and he is hot lately. Towns will try to lead the Timberwolves to back-to-back wins when they host the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.
Towns joined Kevin Garnett as the only players in franchise history to record at least 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five blocks when he went for 30, 14, five and five in a 119-96 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings on Thursday. Minnesota seems to go as Towns goes, and he is averaging 26.3 points on 66.7 percent shooting in the last three wins while totaling 26 points on 8-of-22 shooting in the last two losses. The Suns are missing some offensive firepower without shooting guard Devin Booker (groin), who is expected to be out at least another week, and are losers of five in a row. Phoenix averages 106.6 points on the season but has seen that number drop to 100.3 in the four games without Booker.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Arizona, FS North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE SUNS (9-21): Phoenix’s best offensive effort since Booker went down came on Wednesday at home against Toronto, when Troy Daniels enjoyed a career night in a 115-109 loss. Daniels scored 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting in 32 minutes off the bench, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range. “At the end of the day, as a player, you want to win,” Daniels told reporters. “I think we’re putting ourselves in a position to win, we just have to get over that hump. We’re playing our tails off. We’ll figure it out.”
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (17-12): Towns isn’t the only former No. 1 overall pick on the roster, and swingman Andrew Wiggins finally seems to be pulling himself out of a shooting slump. The 2014 No.1 pick out of Kansas scored 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting on Thursday - snapping a five-game streak of shooting under 50 percent - and went 3-of-4 from 3-point range after knocking down 2-of-20 in the previous five contests. Wiggins is playing on the opposite wing from Jimmy Butler, who is averaging 26.4 points on 51.2 percent shooting in seven games this month.
1. Suns rookie SF Josh Jackson is 3-of-21 from the field over the last two contests, including an 0-of-7 effort on Wednesday.
2. Minnesota SG Jamal Crawford totaled four points on 2-of-10 shooting over the last two games.
3. Wiggins, Towns and Butler combined for 78 points in a 119-108 home win over Phoenix on Nov. 26.
PREDICTION: Timberwolves 115, Suns 102