NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 6th (All times eastern)
Phoenix Suns (37-40) at Minnesota Timberwolves (17-61), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two teams playing out the string meet in the Twin Cities Wednesday when the Phoenix Suns shoot for their seventh consecutive win over the hapless Minnesota Timberwolves.
A year after reaching the Western Conference finals, Phoenix is out of the playoff picture and attempting to avoid a fifth consecutive road loss tonight. The Suns are 0-2 on a five-game trek after falling to East-leading Chicago, 97-94, in the Windy City on Tuesday.
Vince Carter had 23 points off the bench to lead Phoenix, which has dropped six of seven overall. Grant Hill and Channing Frye both scored 13 for the Suns, while Steve Nash returned from a two-game absence to hand out 16 assists.
"We have to play the way we did in the second half when the game is even and not when we're 22 down," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said.
Minnesota is struggling even more than Phoenix and fell for the 11th straight time in New Jersey last night when Deron Williams sank a go-ahead jumper with 1.7 seconds remaining, capping his substantial double-double and saving the New Jersey Nets in a 107-105 victory against the Timberwolves.
Williams scored 18 points and matched a career high with 21 assists for the Nets, who led by double digits for most of the game until Minnesota put together a late rally.
"A guy like that, he has the ball so much, he gets such a rhythm, 'cause there's so many pick and rolls. He has the ball the whole game," Wolves guard Luke Ridnour said of Williams. "So it's tough to stop someone like that. I thought we did a decent job on those shots, he just hit some big ones."
Michael Beasley had 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Minnesota, while Anthony Randolph posted 20 points and 10 boards off the bench.
Anthony Tolliver added 14 points off the Timberwolves' bench and fellow reserve Martell Webster added 16.
Double-double machine Kevin Love did not play due to a strained groin and has missed five of his last seven contests. He is averaging 20.2 points and 15.2 boards this season, and is unlikely to play tonight.
04/06 10:54:12 ET