NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 15th (All times eastern)
New Jersey Nets (22-29) at Minnesota Timberwolves (25-27), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Minnesota's interim head coach Kevin McHale will try once again for his first victory tonight, when he leads the Timberwolves against the New Jersey Nets at the Target Center.
Minnesota general manager Glen Taylor chose to fire longtime coach Flip Saunders on Saturday, replacing him with McHale, who is the T'Wolves' vice president of basketball operations. The T'Wolves lost their first game under McHale on Sunday, falling 87-83 to the Chicago Bulls at the Target Center.
Latrell Sprewell led the T'Wolves with a game-high 26 points on 11-of-25 shooting in the loss. Kevin Garnett, who entered Sunday's game two points shy of 15,000 for his career, reached the milestone on his first attempt from the field at the 11:12 mark in the first quarter.
He surpassed the plateau a little more than a minute later with a dunk. He finished the game with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Garnett became just the 12th player in NBA history to have at least 15,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists.
The T'Wolves shot 40 percent from the field, including 4-of-10 (.400) from three-point range. Minnesota also drained 7-of-9 (.778) from the free throw line. The T'Wolves were outrebounded, 47-46, in the losing effort.
Sam Cassell missed his third consecutive game due to a strained hamstring. Cassell is questionable for tonight's game.
Minnesota, which is in the middle of a three-game homestand, is 14-13 in its friendly confines this season. The T'Wolves have lost eight of their last 13 home games.
The Nets put an end to a two-game losing streak on Sunday, as they registered a 94-79 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Continental Airlines Arena.
Vince Carter scored 23 points, while Jason Kidd netted 13 and dished out eight assists for the Nets in the win. Travis Best and Jacque Vaughn tallied 10 points apiece for the Nets. Ron Mercer finished with 12 points off the bench in the win.
Carter has been excellent for New Jersey, tallying 26.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per contest in 26 games. The 28-year-old has actually been healthy unlike the tail end of his tenure in Toronto.
The Nets shot 52 percent from the field and went 16-of-21 from the free throw line. New Jersey, which drained 6-of-16 (.375) from three-point range, improved to 16-7 when five players score in double figures.
New Jersey remains third in the Atlantic Division, 3 1/2 games behind Philadelphia and Boston. The Nets are 9-18 on the road this season.
The Nets have not exactly been running up the points this season, posting just 90.4 points per contest (28th-NBA). Meanwhile, New Jersey is allowing just 94 points per game (7th). The Nets are shooting 43.1 percent from the field (27th), while limiting foes to 43.7 percent (8th) shooting.
New Jersey bolstered its roster on Monday, as it acquired veteran forward/center Clifford Robinson from Golden State for a pair of second round picks and a $5 million trade exception.
New Jersey has won four of the last six meetings in this series, but is just 4-10 in Minnesota all-time. The Nets have lost three of four and eight of their last 10 at Minnesota.
02/15 11:48:53 ET