The Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Timberwolves celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day by squaring off for the second-and-final time this season in a Monday matinee event schedule to tip-off at 2:00 PM (ET).
Both teams are severally short-handed this afternoon as Minnesota is without 60% of their starting lineup and Atlanta is without key reserves including the Hawks’ third leading scorer Lou Williams, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Nikola Pekovic killed Atlanta in the last meeting by scoring 25 points and grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds but luckily Pekovic is one of the many Timberwolves who are inactive today. He suffered a right thigh contusion on Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers and missed Saturday’s contest against the Houston Rockets and is expected to be sidelined for 7-10 days.
Scroll down for the full injury report.
Who?: Atlanta Hawks vs Minnesota Timberwolves
What?: East Coast vs West Coast Showdown (Game #41, Home Game #21)
Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
When?: Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 – 2:00 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680AM & 93.7FM
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: John Jenkins | SF: Josh Smith | PF: Al Horford | C: Zaza Pachulia
PG: Ricky Rubio | SG: Luke Ridnour | SF: Andrei Kirilenko | PF: Derrick Williams | C: Greg Stiemsma
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Anthony Morrow (sore lower back), DeShawn Stevenson (sore right knee), Devin Harris (sprained left ankle) and Lou Williams (torn ACL, right knee) are all out.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Dante Cunningham (illness) is questionable. Alexey Shved (sprained left ankle) is doubtful. Brandon Roy (arthroscopic right knee surgery), Kevin Love (broken hand), Nikola Pekovic (right thigh contusion), Chase Budinger (lateral meniscus tear) and Malcolm Lee (surgery on right knee and right hip) are all out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (22-18) … Minnesota Timberwolves (17-20)
Streak: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 2 / HOME: Lost 1 / ROAD: Lost 6 … Minnesota Timberwolves –> OVERALL: Won 1 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Lost 4
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (13-7) at home … T’wolves are (6-14) on the road.
Atlanta Hawks: Ice Cold. Atlanta has lost 8-of-11 games overall since January 1, and will be without Lou Williams for the rest of the season.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Cold. Minnesota has lost four straight on the road and will be without 60% of their starting lineup against the Hawks.
Season/Past Season Series
Minnesota comes to Philips Arena for the only time this year in the second-and-final meeting with the Hawks. The Timberwolves posted a 108-103 home triumph in the first game (1/8) behind 25 points and 18 rebounds from Nikola Pekovic, while Andrei Kirilenko scored 21. Josh Smith (also 13 rebounds) and Lou Williams each tallied 21 points for Atlanta, and Al Horford chipped in 19 points and 11 boards. The victory snapped an 11-game Hawks winning streak in the series. Atlanta still owns a nine-game home win streak against the T’Wolves, with Minnesota’s last triumph at Philips Arena coming on 11/20/02 (103-93). The Hawks lead the all-time series 28-16, including a 17-5 home mark.
LAST MEETING – T’WOLVES 108, HAWKS 103 - TARGET CENTER (MINNEAPOLIS, MN) – 1/8/13
Atlanta never led after falling behind big early on before losing 108-103 at Minnesota. The Hawks trailed by as-many-as-17 in the first half and were down 58-42 at halftime. Atlanta managed to cut it to 66-60 midway through the third but the Timberwolves pushed it back to 85-71 heading to the final frame. Trailing 100-89 with under four minutes to play, Atlanta put together one last rally, going on a 14-4 run, to cut the deficit to 104-103 with 36.6 seconds to play. Dante Cunningham answered for the T’Wolves, hitting a mid-range jumper and stealing the ensuing inbounds pass, sealing the victory. Josh Smith (21 points/13 rebounds) and Al Horford (19 points/11 boards) both had double-doubles for the Hawks. Lou Williams added 21 points, Kyle Korver 15 and John Jenkins 10. Nikola Pekovic led Minnesota with 25 points and 18 rebounds. The T’Wolves had a 50-38 advantage in points in the paint and 27-21 in second chance points. Minnesota also committed just 10 turnovers (leading to 10 Hawks points), while Atlanta tallied 16 miscues for 19 Timberwolves points.
Anthony Tolliver played the last two seasons with Minnesota, appearing in 116 contests with the Timberwolves. Tolliver, Brandon Roy and Dante Cunningham were all teammates briefly in Portland (2009-10). Kyle Korver and Lou Williams were teammates of Lou Amundson in Philadelphia. Korver and Andrei Kirilenko played together with Utah. Devin Harris and JJ Barea teamed together with the Dallas Mavericks, as did DeShawn Stevenson and Barea. Johan Petro and Luke Ridnour teamed-up with Seattle from 2005-08. Hawks scout Greg Ballard was an assistant coach with the Timberwolves for nine years.
Information was used from the Hawks and Timberwolves official gamenotes