The Minnesota Timberwolves will try for a second time this season to string together three straight wins when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. The Timberwolves, who haven’t won four straight since Dec. 2012, outlasted the Miami Heat in overtime on Monday, scoring the first six points of the extra session en route to a 125-122 win.
Three players - Jeff Teague, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns - reached the 20-point mark for Minnesota, which is 4-0 in games decided by three points or fewer. “We have a lot of people who know how to win, know how to close out games,” Wiggins told reporters. The Pelicans had their bid for a three-game winning streak thwarted with Monday’s 115-99 home loss to Orlando despite a 39-point, 10-rebound effort by Anthony Davis, who has helped his team dominate the Timberwolves in recent years. The 24-year-old forward averaged 38.3 points in leading New Orleans to a three-game season series sweep last season, and the Pelicans have won 10 of the last 12 meetings overall.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS New Orleans
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (4-3): Veteran point guard Jeff Teague had some slight bumps in the road getting started this season but he’s picked it up of late and is proving his value in tight games. The Wake Forest product has back-to-back double-doubles after recording season highs of 23 points and 11 assists at Miami, and he chipped in six steals to tie a career high. Teague is averaging 17.3 points, 8.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals in Minnesota’s four wins, compared to 10.3, 6.3, two and 1.3 in its three losses.
ABOUT THE PELICANS (3-4): New Orleans ranks in the bottom third in the NBA in scoring defense (109.7), field-goal percentage defense (46.2) and 3-point percentage defense (38.2) after allowing the Magic to control matters Monday night. “We sucked,” coach Alvin Gentry told reporters. “I wish there was another way to put it. We didn’t close out to shooters, they drove the basketball any time they wanted to. ... It was lack of effort. I didn’t think that we did a very good job of just digging in.” Big man DeMarcus Cousins also had his worst offensive effort of the season with 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting and six turnovers in 39 minutes.
1. Wiggins is averaging 24 points on 47.8 percent shooting on the road, compared to 14 points on 34.9 at home.
2. Pelicans PG Jrue Holiday is shooting 54.7 percent from the field over the last five games.
3. Towns scored at least 33 points in two of the three meetings last season and was held to nine - his only single-digit effort - in the other.
PREDICTION: Timberwolves 114, Pelicans 110