The Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Timberwolves square off in an East vs. West showdown with both teams currently sporting a three-game losing streak, which means the winner of tonight’s game will be the lucky team to avoid a fourth straight loss.
The Hawks lost against New Orleans (Friday), Toronto (Sunday) and Phoenix (Monday), while the Timberwolves were beaten by Houston (Thursday), Phoenix (Sunday) and Memphis (Monday).
Atlanta and Minnesota also have another thing in common: they’re both missing key players due to injury, as the Hawks are without shooting guard Kyle Korver while the T’wolves are missing big man Nikola Peovic — both are starters.
Backup point guard Shelvin Mack has been filling in as starting shooting guard in Korver’s absence, but coach Mike Budenholzer will shake things up tonight and slide defensive specialist DeMarre Carroll down to SG and give second-year forward Mike Scott the start at the wing.
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Who?: Atlanta Hawks vs Minnesota Timberwolves
What?: East vs West Showdown (Game #70, Road Game #37)
Where?: Target Center (Minneapolis, MN)
When?: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 – 8:00 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HD TV & 92.9 FM
Atlanta Hawks: PG: Jeff Teague | SG: DeMarre Carroll | SF: Mike Scott | PF: Paul Millsap | C: Elton Brand
Minnesota Timberwolves: PG: Ricky Rubio | SG: Kevin Martin | SF: Corey Brewer | PF: Kevin Love | C: Gorgui Dieng
Atlanta Hawks: Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder surgery), Al Horford (right pectoral muscle surgery), John Jenkins (lower back surgery) and Kyle Korver (back spasms) are out.
Minnesota Timberwolves: J.J. Barea (sprained left foot) is questionable. Nikola Pekovic (sore right ankle) is doubtful. A.J. Price (appendectomy) and Ronny Turiaf (bone bruise, right knee) are out.
Current Records, Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (31-38) / Minnesota Timberwolves (34-35)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 3 | HOME: Lost 2 | ROAD: Lost 1 Minnesota Timberwolves –> OVERALL: Lost 3 | HOME: Lost 1 | ROAD: Lost 2
Home/Away Records: T’wolves are (19-14) at home / Hawks are (11-25) away.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. The Hawks have lost three straight games and are in danger of falling out of playoff contention.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Cold. The Timberwolves, like Atlanta, have lost three games in a row.
Series Notes/Past Series Notes
Atlanta travels to Minnesota for the second-and-final contest between the clubs this season. The Hawks took the first meeting 120-113 in Atlanta on 2/1 and have now won two straight in the series. Kyle Korver (team-high 24 points) and Paul Millsap (20 points and 13 rebounds) led the Hawks. Kevin Love had game-highs in points (43) and rebounds (19) for Minnesota. The Timberwolves won the last meeting in Minnesota on 1/8/13 (108-103), with Atlanta’s most recent road victory coming on 11/5/10 (113-103). The Hawks lead the all-time series 30-16 (11-11 on the road).
LAST MEETING — HAWKS 120, T’WOLVES 113 — ATLANTA, GA — 2/1/14
The Hawks led by as many as 11 in the opening period before Minnesota rallied to close the first quarter down just one point. Paul Millsap (10 points and five rebounds) was halfway to his ninth game with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds after one period. The Wolves shot .500 FG% in the second quarter and outscored Atlanta 30-23 in the stanza to take a 54-48 lead into the half. Kyle Korver got hot in the third quarter and shot a perfect 4-4 FGs, 3-3 3FGs, 1-1 FTs to lead all players with 12 points in the period. Atlanta’s 38 points (.538 FG%, .667 3FG%, 1.000 FT%) gave the Hawks an 86-75 advantage entering the final quarter. Kevin Love scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and Minnesota cut the margin to as little as three points, but Atlanta closed the game on an 8-4 run to win by seven points. The Hawks handed out 30 assists and improved to 9-1 on the season when recording at least 30 helpers. Millsap recorded his 17th double-double, finishing with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Korver led the Hawks with 24 points. Love tallied game-highs of 43 points and 19 rebounds, scoring the most points the Hawks have allowed to a single player this season. Atlanta scored at least 120 points in consecutive contests for the first time since 4/12/04 and 4/14/04.
Hawks Assistant Coach Jim Thomas played three games with the Timberwolves in 1990-91. DeMarre Carroll has been teammates briefly with Corey Brewer (Denver in 2011-12), Chase Budinger (Houston in 2010-11) and Kevin Martin (Houston in 2010-11). Gustavo Ayon played 12 games for Milwaukee in 2012-13, alongside Luc Mbah a Moute. Shelvin Mack and A.J. Price both played for Washington in 2012-13, while Mack and Ronny Turiaf suited up together with the Wizards in 2011-12. Kenny Atkinson coached Turiaf as an Assistant Coach with the Knicks in 2010-11.