Forcing turnovers key for Wolves vs. Bucks

Winning the turnover battle at Target Center will be key for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Milwaukee Bucks when they square off Thursday night.

The Wolves commit just 11.8 turnovers per game at home, the best mark in the league. Meanwhile, Milwaukee is adept at forcing turnovers away from home. The Bucks force an average of 16.4 turnovers per road game, second in the league.

The two teams are near the top of the league in turnover differential per game.

Team TO Diff./Game
Timberwolves 3.4
Thunder 3.2
Mavericks 2.0
Bucks 1.9
Pacers 1.9

It’s the Wolves’ best effort since the 1998-99 season, and the Bucks’ best since 2009-10. Both teams have excelled at turning those turnovers into points.

Minnesota ranks third in the league in points off turnovers at home, while the Bucks rank third in points off turnovers per game on the road.

Team Points off TO (home)
Thunder 19.9
Jazz 19.2
Wolves 19.1
Team Points off TO (road)
Hawks 19.8
Raptors 19.4
Bucks 19.3

If those figures cancel out, the Wolves will need the help of their new superstar to make up the difference. Jimmy Butler is one of the league’s top scorers in the fourth quarter — fourth in the league at 6.7 points per game — thanks to his success at the free-throw line.

Player Team FTM in 4Q
Jimmy Butler Wolves 107
DeMarcus Cousins Pelicans 88
Anthony Davis Pelicans 82
Lou Williams Clippers 79
Kemba Walker Hornets 78

Other notes:

— Minnesota is 18-9 all-time against Milwaukee at home, its second-best home record against any opponent. The Wolves are 20-6 at the Target Center this season, tied for the third-best home record in the NBA.

— Karl Anthony-Towns has recorded a double-double in 10 consecutive games against Eastern Conference opponents, the longest such streak by any NBA player against an opposing conference this season. However, the last time he didn’t have a double-double vs. an East team was against Milwaukee on Dec. 28.

Statistics courtesy of STATS