Well-rested Wolves square off with Luka Doncic

December 4, 2019

Minnesota Timberwolves teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins have been one of the NBA's most effective scoring duos this season.

Towns is averaging 25.9 points per game, while a resurgent Wiggins is averaging 24.8 for a combined 50.7 PPG. Only two tandems are averaging more points this season.

Team Player 1 (PPG) Player 2 (PPG) Combined PPG
HOU James Harden (39.5) Russell Westbrook (21.9) 61.4
LAL Anthony Davis (26.1) LeBron James (25.6) 51.7
MIN Karl-Anthony Towns (25.9) Andrew Wiggins (24.8) 50.7
BKN Kyrie Irving (28.5) Spencer Dinwiddie (20.7) 49.2
POR Damian Lillard (26.7) CJ McCollum (21.9) 48.6

The well-rested duo -- the Wolves haven't played since Sunday -- faces a major test Wednesday in Dallas: Red-hot Mavericks star Luka Doncic.

The second-year guard is averaging 30.7 points per game on 48.4% shooting with 10.3 rebounds, 9.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game this season. He averaged 21.2 points per game as a rookie. It's the league's largest year-to-year increase in scoring output this season.

Doncic went off for 33 points and a season-high 18 rebounds in the Mavericks' blowout win over the Pelicans on Tuesday, but there's a silver lining there for the Wolves: Dallas has struggled recently in back-to-backs.

Dallas fell to the Knicks then beat the Grizzlies in their first such set of the season -- Doncic had 24 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists against Memphis -- but is just 3-12 in the second game of back-to-back sets since the beginning of last season. That's tied for the second-worst such winning percentage in the NBA over that span.

Meanwhile, the 10-9 Wolves are off to one of the best road starts in franchise history. Minnesota is 7-2 away from Target Center this season. They're just the second Wolves team (2004-05) to win seven of their first 10 road games.

Towns and Wiggins have been getting some welcome help from second-year forward Keita Bates-Diop. Called up from the G League in mid-November, Bates-Diop has played major minutes over the Wolves' last four games. He's averaging 27.9 minutes per game over his last four, posting 15.3 points per game on 57.1% shooting, including a career-high 22 points during the Wolves' loss to the Suns on Nov. 23.

Statistics via Sportradar