Timberwolves-Clippers Preview

While their teams sit near the bottom of the Western Conference,

Blake Griffin and Kevin Love continue to put up impressive numbers

on a nightly basis.

Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers seek a season-best third

straight win while trying to avenge a last-second loss when they

host Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

Griffin registered his 15th consecutive double-double with 29

points and 12 rebounds as the Clippers held on for a 100-99 victory

at Chicago on Saturday.

“We’re definitely improving, that’s evident,” said Griffin,

averaging 24.3 points and 13.8 boards during his double-double run.

“I was just being aggressive. Thankfully I hit some shots early and

it got me going.”

Griffin scored 26 points and pulled down 17 rebounds against the

Timberwolves Nov. 17, but it wasn’t enough thanks to Michael

Beasley. The Minnesota forward scored 33 points and hit the winning

shot with 2.3 seconds to go in a 113-111 home victory.

Griffin has 21 double-doubles, second in the NBA behind Love’s


Love is coming off a spectacular effort, scoring 43 points and

going 5 of 5 from 3-point range while grabbing 17 rebounds in a

115-113 loss to Denver on Saturday. His 14th consecutive

double-double came in Minnesota’s 11th straight road defeat.

“I can see why, when I look at the stat sheet on numerous

nights, he has 20 and 20,” the Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony said of


The Timberwolves (6-22) lost by average of 16.3 points in their

first 13 road losses but kept the three most recent away games

close, falling by a total of 13.

“It is getting frustrating, but we stay hungry because we are

young and we have veteran guys who have come from winning

situations and they aren’t giving up on this team,” Love said.

“We’re trying to get better in the here and now, but we’re also

looking to the future, on growing together and becoming a good


The Timberwolves rank near the bottom of league in points

allowed with 109.9 and are also near the bottom with 112.6 given up

on the road. Minnesota has gone 1-28 in its last 29 away from


Beasley scored 17 points versus Denver but shot 7 of 18.

Big man Darko Milicic was unavailable Saturday after sustaining

an ankle injury Friday. Milicic, among the league leaders with 2.6

blocks per game, is uncertain to play Monday.

The Timberwolves are on the verge of matching their season-high

12-game road losing streak of 2009-10.

Los Angeles beat Detroit 109-88 on Friday for its first road win

of the season, and the Bulls’ Derrick Rose missed the second of two

free throws with 0.8 remaining the next day. That gave the Clippers

back-to-back away victories for the first time since Nov. 27-Dec.

16, 2009.

The Clippers have averaged 84.7 points during a three-game

losing streak at Staples Center, but have scored 109.3 in their

last three meetings with the Timberwolves.

Guard Eric Gordon, who leads the Clippers with 23.4 points per

contest, has averaged 15.3 points in his last three. Gordon scored

30 when the teams met in November.

Los Angeles had lost four of five home meetings with Minnesota

before taking the last two.