National Basketball Association
New Orleans at Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Orleans Pelicans were each stacked with talented young rosters and high expectations at the start of the season. Those talented rosters remain intact, but both teams will just be finishing out losing seasons when the Timberwolves host the Pelicans in the finale on Wednesday.
New Orleans went from the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference last season back to the lottery due to a series of injuries to key players like Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson. The Pelicans have been happy with the effort of the players that have filled in of late but finished out the home schedule with a 121-116 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday. “The thing we talked about after the game was that every guy that is injured, or is rehabbing and trying to get himself back healthy, the one thing they’ve got to do is come back and compete at the same level as these guys did,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters. “If we do, we’ll be fine.” The Timberwolves showed what their young roster is capable of with a three-game road trip sweep through Golden State, Sacramento and Portland but will still fail to reach 30 wins.TV:
8 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, FSN North (Minnesota)ABOUT THE PELICANS (30-51):
One of the players getting a chance to prove himself in the NBA is forward James Ennis, who scored a career-high 29 points on Monday. “He’s done a great job since we got him here,” Gentry told reporters of Ennis. “You’ve got to understand he’s not had one single practice with us, not one. So everything that he’s doing he’s kind of doing on the fly, so we’re just kind of filling him in. So to me, I think he’s shown everybody that he’s capable of being on this level.” Ennis is averaging 14.4 points in eight games since joining New Orleans.ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (28-53):
Winning at home (13-27) has been a consistent problem for Minnesota, and it followed up its impressive road trip by getting run off the floor in a 129-105 home loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday. “We have to have a sense of urgency,” Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Coach is really disappointed in our effort. We played so well in those last three games. … The fans are there; they’re cheering for us. We have to give them something to cheer for.” Muhammad scored a team-high 23 points off the bench but the Timberwolves allowed the Rockets to shoot 55.8 percent in the setback.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Pelicans G Toney Douglas is averaging 20.8 points in the last four games.
2. Timberwolves rookie F Nemanja Bjelica has recorded back-to-back double-doubles for the first time in his career.
3. Minnesota earned a 112-110 win at New Orleans in the last meeting on Feb. 27 as Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins combined for 75 points.PREDICTION:
Pelicans 109, Timberwolves 103
Stats and Records