Warriors fall 117-109 to the Suns in preseason game at Oracle Arena

Photo credit: @warriors

By: Ana Kieu

Monday was game day for the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena. There was no reported cases of the Mondays in Oakland.

Prior to the game, Steph Curry spoke to the media on the support of Warriors fans, saying, “It’s a special place. The Bay has supported us. Oakland has supported us, and to know that these types of events, where you can bring some of these fans that might not get access to the games throughout the course of the season for whatever reason. You just want to enjoy that environment. You could see all the kids that came out, just going crazy for us just doing practice drills and what not and having some fun, bringing some kids on the court.”

The Warriors’ starters featured Kevin Durant, Kevon Looney, Damian Jones, Danuel House Jr. and Stephen Curry. The Warriors had their game faces on, but the final score–a 117-109 loss to the Suns–didn’t display that.

The Warriors made a statement in the first quarter with Curry’s three-pointers along with an astonishing moment where Curry refused to settle for three points and racked up a four-point play instead.

Despite Curry’s efforts, Golden State trailed Phoenix 40-32 at the end of the first.

Curry continued showing off his awesome skills in the second quarter, but Durant also shined as he moved without the ball with 5:18 left in the quarter. The Warriors merely outshot the Suns 25-21 in the quarter.

That being said, Golden State caught up, but they weren’t quite there yet, as they trailed Phoenix 61-57 at halftime.

Warriors’ second-year power forward and center Jordan Bell put in work in the third quarter. Bell attracted some attention to himself by putting some points and collecting some rebounds for the scoreboard. The Suns, however, poured in 38 points in the quarter, which seemed to perplex the Warriors, who were the home team tonight.

After three quarters, Golden State trailed Phoenix 99-87.

The Warriors outshot the Suns 22-18 in the fourth quarter, but Golden State’s attempts for a comeback fell short as Phoenix took the game 117-109.¬†Curry led six Warriors in double-figures with 23 points and four assists. Durant had 12 points, five rebounds and five assists. Damian Jones and Kevon Looney each had 11 points in their starting assignments. Thompson, Green and Andre Iguodala all had the game off to rest.

The Warriors lost to the Suns, but there was a bright spot, as Golden State got a great glimpse at the 2018 No. 1 draft pick Deandre Ayton. Ayton put on an impressive show with a team-high 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting, seven rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes.

Notes: Tonight’s giveaway was a Curry bobblehead that featured the former Davidson Wildcat in his outfit from the 2018 NBA Championship parade alongside the three¬†Larry O’Brien trophies he has played a role in capturing.

This upcoming season will mark Steph Curry’s 10th season as a member of the Golden State Warriors. Curry reportedly seems to think that his previous injuries are now behind him.

“It’s probably one of the best summers I’ve had in terms of my prep work going into a year,” Curry told NBA.com. “So I’m excited about what that’ll mean on the court.”

Up Next: The Warriors head to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to take on the Lakers in a nationally televised game on Wednesday, October 10 at 7:30 pm PT on ESPN.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! SacKings will pick second in NBA Draft

NBADRAFTLottery
Photo: @NBADraftLottery

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The NBA Draft Lottery order was selected in Chicago on Tuesday night, and the big winners of the night were the Sacramento Kings. The Kings entered the evening slotted to pick seventh on draft night in June. The Kings finished the season tied with the Chicago Bulls but lost a coin toss so the Bulls owned the sixth selection pre-lottery draw.

NBADraftFox
@NBADraftLottery

The Kings had just an 18.3-percent chance of winding up in the Top-3 in the Draft Lottery. Those odds may have been helped a little because the team was represented by first-year point guard De’Aaron Fox who has been a positive force for Sacramento ever since his arrival in June of 2017 from the University of Kentucky.

The Kings moved into the Top-3 in the 2017 Draft Lottery back fell back to the number five pick because Philadelphia had the right to swap selections if the Sacramento pick was higher than the Sixers. With the number five selection, the Kings took De’Aaron Fox.

This good fortune becomes even more important because the Kings will not have a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The 2019 first-round selection was dealt away early in the tenure of Vlade Divac’s administration of basketball operations. This makes the 2018 draft selection even more important than it would normally be because it has to count for two seasons.

Who will be the number two draft pick?

Luka
Photo: @LukaDoncic

Virtually every mock draft site has Luka Doncic going as the number two selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. He is an international player currently playing with Real Madrid of Spain originally from Slovenia. Doncic is a 6-foot-7 small forward/shooting guard who is capable of playing positionless basketball that has become so popular in the NBA today.

Doncic is just 19-years old and definitely plays older than his years. He is an outstanding assists player who also is a strong rebounder on offense and defense. Doncic is an above average scorer and shooter at the free throw line. He needs work on his three-point shooting percentage and his number of turnovers needs to be lower.

The Kings front office has two prominent members – Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic¬†– who are Eastern Europeans and should be able to make Doncic feel comfortable in Sacramento. One of the Kings up and coming stars is former Euro star – Bogdan Bogdanovic –¬† who certainly understands the style of basketball Doncic has been playing and could help make the transition to the NBA.

It looks like a match made in heaven right? Well, wait just one minute. The Phoenix Suns believe that Doncic can play point guard in the NBA. That’s right. They think this 6-foot-7 budding superstar can play point guard in “the association” alongside their star shooting guard Devin Booker. If the Suns believe Doncic can play that role, he could become the number one pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

If Doncic goes number one, who goes number two?

NBADraftAyton
Photo:NBADraftLottery

That would leave DeAndre Ayton from Arizona available for the number two pick. Ayton is a 7-foot-1, 250-pound center who has an NBA body. He scores in multiple ways and has even been developing a three-point shot. Ayton runs the floor well and is not afraid of contact. He has great hands and good footwork.

His weakness is his defense. Ayton tends to get caught flat-footed too many times. He needs to do a better job defending against the pick and roll – a staple of the NBA. He needs to be more consistent about contesting shots.

Ayton is going to be a star in the NBA.

The Suns are going to be under immense pressure to draft the Arizona product and keep him in Phoenix. However, the Suns may opt to pass and go with Doncic who may pay off with more long-term results for them.

Either way, the Kings cannot go wrong. They are going to be able to draft a player who is going to become a star in the NBA.

Warriors, behind the hot shooting of Klay Thompson, drub Suns 117-100

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Warriors played the penultimate game of the 2017-2018 season Sunday night in Phoenix and they¬†played the game to win even though a win¬†or a loss would not affect their status as the¬†number two seed in the Western Conference. Klay Thompson was on fire in the first quarter. If he were any hotter, the Suns would have had to call in the Phoenix Fire Department to cool him off. Klay missed his first shot but then went on a run that saw him score 19 consecutive points. He finished the game with 34, and the Warriors won 117-100. Steve Kerr had this to say about Klay’s performance.¬†“That was fun to watch,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “He had the arena pretty excited. Every time he went up for a shot after that first few, you could hear the anticipation of the crowd. Yeah, he had it rolling.” Said Thompson, “It was good to get in a good rhythm, especially with one game left now [in the regular season], and to have some great momentum going into this playoff stretch.” That’s Thompson’s first 30-point performance since Jan. 17 when he scored 38 in Chicago. “I’m shooting a career high in three-point and field-goal percentage, so for me, that’s more valuable than a few big games,” he said.

Klay ended the first quarter with 22 points, and the Warriors finished the period with a four-point lead 33-29. Golden State kept the pressure on as they had the defense working and led by 18 at one point in the second quarter. They cooled off a bit but finished the first half leading 64-50.

The Warriors, as they have done so many times, this won the third quarter 27-22 and led by 19 heading into the fourth quarter. The Suns, missing six players due to injury, were unable to overcome the deficit and fell to the Warriors 117-100.

Game Notes and Stats- The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson’s 34 points. The Warriors beat the Suns for the 15th consecutive time. The Suns own the worst record in the NBA at 20-61. They have one game left to play, and the players probably will be happy to see the season end. The Suns are in the NBA draft lottery, and they will have more chances to get the number one pick.

Four of the five Warrior starters were in double figures. Draymond Green had 14, Kevin Durant 17, Quinn Cook 14, and Klay 34. JaVale McGee scored 11 in just 9 minutes of playing time, and Shaun Livingston pitched in with 10. Steph Curry, Patrick McCaw, and Andre Iguodala were not available due to injury.  The Suns were missing Devin Booker, T.J.Warren, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, and Elfrid Payton. However, five of the Suns finished in double figures. Daniel House had a career-high 22 points, Dragan Bender 14, Alex Len 16, Tyler Ulis 15, and Jared Dudley, coming off the bench, 11.

The Warriors play the Utah Jazz Tuesday night in Salt Lake City. This will be the final game of the season for the Warriors, and they will not know who they will be playing in Round One of the playoffs until Wednesday.

 

Suns hold off late Kings rally for rare 97-94 victory

Photo credit: @NBA

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Despite a late rally by the Sacramento Kings, the Phoenix Suns held on and picked up their 20th win of the season by edging the Kings 97-94 Tuesday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The rare victory snapped a franchise-worst 15-game losing streak for the Suns, who possess the NBA’s worst record at 20-59. It was the Suns’ first victory overall since Feb. 28 and their first win at home since defeating Dallas on Jan. 31.

Phoenix will finish with its second-lowest single-season win total ever in the team’s 50-year history unless it wins all three remaining games. The Suns won 16 games as a 1968-69 expansion team.

Josh Jackson led the Suns with 28 points ‚Äď 18 in the first half. Alex Len contributed 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Tyler Ulis added 13 points and nine assists, as Phoenix held the Kings to 37 percent shooting from the field.

Sacramento (25-54) trailed by 12 points with 4:19 remaining in the fourth quarter after the Suns led by four after three quarters, but battled back with a chance to tie the game after forcing a turnover with 7 seconds to play. Bogdan Bogdanovic and Justin Jackson both misses potential game-tying 3-pointers before time expired.

Bogdanovic topped the Kings’ scoring column with 22 points, with Jackson adding 19 points and eight rebounds, as Sacramento has lost five of its last six contests.

Notes: Kings forward Skai Labissiere did not play due to an ankle sprain, and 20-year veteran Vince Carter sustained an undetermined injury trying to defend a drive to the basket in the second quarter, but later returned.

Up Next: The Kings’ road trip continues on Friday when they travel to Memphis to face the Grizzlies.

Warriors get it going in second quarter and roll over Suns 117-107

Photo credit: nba.com/warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors started Sunday night slowly against the lowly Phoenix Suns.

The Suns, behind Marquisee Chriss and Dragen Bender, were able to build a 14-point lead about halfway through the second quarter.

The Warriors, led by Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Quinn Cook, went on a 14-5 run at the end of the quarter to finish the first half trailing 59-58.

In the third quarter, the Warriors’ defense shut down the Suns’ offense by holding them to just 18 points, and the offense came to life pouring in 36 points to finish the third quarter leading by 94-77. The Warriors were leading by 18 when Phoenix rallied and went on a 12-3 run to trail by nine.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sent Kevin Durant back into the game, and the Warriors were able to build the lead back to 14 before Phoenix scored the last two buckets of the game. The Warriors win 117-110.

Game Notes and stats. The Warriors improved to 56-21 and Phoenix drops to 19-59. The Warriors have won fourteen straight against the Suns.

Game Notes and Stats: Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 29 points, eight assists, 11 rebounds, and two blocked shots.

The Warriors have three of the big four players back in action, and there is no question that Durant is the man.

“Kevin is going to be Kevin no matter what,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s got as much ability as anybody, pretty much anybody ever in the history of the game. Put him out there with Steph, great. Put him out there without Steph, great. He’s still going to get any shot he wants and dominate a game.”

Klay Thompson, in his second game back since injuring his thumb, showed that he is a very important cog in the Warrior offense as he tallied 23 points.

Draymond Green had another double-double. Green scored 13 to go along with 12 assists, six rebounds, and one blocked shot.

Quinn Cook finished the night with 19 points, six assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Cook has scored in double figures in 10 consecutive games, and he has shown that he can play with the big boys and will be a huge asset for the Warriors not only until the return of Steph Curry, but being able to come off the bench and give the Warriors some instant offense on the second unit.

Up Next: The Warriors meet the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night in Oklahoma City. Game time will be at 5 pm PST.

Warriors remain without Big Three, but manage to get it going as they rout Suns 124-109

Photo credit: @warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors, still smarting from the loss to Sacramento Friday night, downed the Phoenix Suns 124-109 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena on Saturday night.

The Warriors were again without the Big Three of Steph Curry (ankle), Klay Thompson (thumb), and Kevin Durant (fractured rib). However, it didn’t matter as the Warriors regained their form and played championship-caliber basketball.

Granted, it was the lowly Suns, but the Warriors had to find a way to get the 73 points that the Big Three averaged each night. They found a way as they were led by All-Star forward Draymond Green, who had a season-high 25 points and almost had a triple-double as he had eight assists and 11 rebounds to go with his 25 points.

Quinn Cook, who had a career-high game with 25 against Sacramento, set a new season-high with 28. Cook also knocked down five 3-point shots.

Nick Young–aka Swaggy P–tallied 20 points, including 3 three-point shots.

After falling behind 6-0 early in the first period, the Suns led most of the way in the first half. They led the Dubs 34-30 after the first 12 minutes of the game and outscored them by four to finish the first half with an eight-point lead of 60-52.

Again, the third quarter belonged to Golden State. They outscored the Suns 42-25 to finish the third period with a nine-point lead. Cook scored 16 of his 28 points in the third quarter. He made all six of his shots, including three 3-pointers.

The Warriors’ defense held the Suns to 24 in the fourth quarter, and the offense put 30 on the board to give the Warriors the win 124-109.

Game Notes and Stats: Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had to be pleased with the play of Draymond Green and Quinn Cook. Cook has been impressive in the last two games, and that bodes well for him being a Warrior in the future.

However, since Cook is a two-way player (plays with the Santa Cruz and Golden State Warriors), he will not be eligible for the playoffs.

Draymond Green has asserted himself as the team leader in Curry’s absence, and Kerr had this to say about Draymond: “Without our other three All-Stars, he’s taking on a different look and playing a different position, running different plays from those positions … Draymond likes to be challenged intellectually in this game, and I think this stretch right now, he’s energized because he’s doing something different.”

Green had also worked to encourage his teammates more, which was evident in the third quarter, when the Warriors outscored the Suns, 42-25.

“I think it’s important to not get frustrated and continue to encourage them,” Green said. “Guys are already out of their comfort zone.”

The Warriors had six players in double figures. Green 25, Cook 28, Young 20, Shaun Livingston 11, Andre Iguodala 11, David West 10, and Kevon Looney had a career-high 13.

The Suns were led by Josh Johnson who poured in 36, Troy Daniels 18 including¬†three 3-point shots, Elfrid Payton 11 and Marquese Chriss 10. The Suns’ rising star player, Devin Booker, did not play due to sprained right hand.

Warriors’ forward Omri Casspi did not play, and his return to action is uncertain.

Up Next: The Warriors face the Spurs Monday night at 6:30 pm PST.

Warriors blow out Suns 129-83 for third straight win

Photo credit: @warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND — The Phoenix Suns were the owners of one of the worst records in the NBA this season, but gave the Warriors a little bit of a tussle during the first 12 minutes of the game. They trailed 25-24 after one quarter of play, and it was as close as they would come close all evening. The Warriors pounded them the next three quarters and trounced the Suns 129-83 at Oracle Arena on Monday night.

The Warriors were without the services of Draymond Green Monday. Green sprained his index finger in the game Saturday night against the Spurs, and the Warriors felt that they could handle the Suns without him. Were they right? Yeah. Omri Casspi started in Green’s place and had his best night as a Warrior with a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Warriors overwhelmed the Suns by 16 in the second quarter, 11 in the third, and 18 in the fourth quarter. During timeouts, Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr turned over his chalkboard to the players and they did a great job as the dominant Warriors swamped the hapless Suns.

Game Notes and Stats: The Suns were without the services of Devin Booker for the fourth straight game due to a hip pointer. The Suns cannot afford to lose Booker, who is a rising star in the NBA.

The Warriors shot 58.4% from the floor and held the Suns to just 34.7%.

The Suns were just 3-for-23 from 3-point range while the Warriors made 11 threes.

The Warriors recorded 36 assists and turned the ball over  11 times. On defense, the Warriors made eight steals and recorded 16 blocks.

Steph Curry led the Warriors with 22 points, Kevin Durant had 17 points, six assists, and seven rebounds and he blocked two shots. Nick Young and Klay Thompson tallied 16. Patrick McCaw, who had played a couple of games in the G-League to help rebuild his confidence, scored nine.

The Suns were led by Elfrid Payton’s 29 points. Payton was playing his second game as a Sun since being acquired at the trade deadline from the Orlando Magic. The only other Sun in double figures was T.J.Warren with 14.

Up Next: The Warriors face the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night in Portland. This will be the last game before the annual NBA All-Star game, which will be held in Los Angeles this weekend.

Scoring duo of Warren and Booker too much for Kings to handle: Suns win 111-101

DSC00802
Devin Booker scores two of his 26 points against the Kings Photo: Jordan Chapin SportsRadioService.com

by Jordan Chapin with Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento- Friday night at the Golden 1 Center, the Sacramento Kings fell to Devin Booker, and the Phoenix Suns, 111-101. Kings started out hot, as Skal Labissiere scored 10 of the Kings first 17 points, including an emphatic put back dunk. The Suns had an answer, by the name of T.J Warren, who hit seven of his first eight shots from the field. Phoenix finished off the first with a 14-0 run in the final two minutes. 

 
The Kings trailed the Suns throughout the entirety of the second and third quarters, as T.J Warren continued his efficient night with a bit of help from Marquese Chriss who finished with 14-points (3-for-3 from 3P). Sacramento struggled from 3-point land tonight, shooting only 8-for-24 from behind the arc. 
 
In the first several minutes of the fourth, the Kings put together a 8-0 run, capped off by a Willie Cauley-Stein, alley-oop dunk, from Bogdan Bogdanovic resulting in a 97-93 lead by the Kings. With just over four minutes left to go, Phoenix tied the game 98-98, then it was the Devin Booker show.  In the last four minutes, Booker and the Suns took over the game, scoring 12 unanswered points, and Devin booker handed the Kings their 23rd loss of the season by scoring nine of those final 12-points on his own. 
 
Despite having seven players in double digits, the Kings fell to a hot Phoenix Suns team, who has won five of their last seven games. The Kings will try to split the season series at two games a piece when they face the Suns in Phoenix, on April 3rd. Sacramento will continue there homestand, New Years Eve, against Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies. 
DSC00798
Battle of the big men as Zach Randolph attacks the basket against Tyson Chandler Photo Jordan Chapin SportsRadioService.com
 
Top Performers
Kings 
Star of the Game: Skal Labissiere 
Skal played only 15 minutes, but made the best of them. Despite having sub-par performances and a couple DNP’s in his last few games, Labissiere ended with 12-points, 5-of-6 from the field, four rebounds, including two offensive rebounds, and an assist. Skal played with a lot of energy and scored 10 of the Kings first 17 points. 
 
Co-star: Garrett Temple 
¬†Temple helped keep Sacramento in the game shooting 5-of-8 from the field(2-for-3 from 3P)and ended with 12-points to go along with five dimes and three boards. Temple hit a few big shots throughout the game, but it wasn’t enough to get the victory.¬†
 
Suns 
Star of the Game: T.J Warren 
Warren was the thorn in the Kings side tonight, racking up a double-double, finishing with 26-points and 10 rebounds. T.J Warren was very steady throughout tonight’s game and was the biggest key in the Suns win.¬†
 
Co-star: Devin Booker 
 Despite a below average shooting night from Booker, he finished with 26-points, three assists and three rebounds. He shot only 3-for-9 from behind the arc, but in the end, hit the dagger that put the Suns over the top in a 111-101 victory.
Coach’s Comments after the game

Team Stats

Phoenix (14-23)

  • Field goal shooting: 41-for-85 (48.2-percent)
  • 3-Point shooting: 13-for-30 (43.3-percent)
  • Free Throws: the Suns converted 16-of-24 chances at the charity stripe (66.7-percent)
  • Rebounds: 16 offensive 29 defensive 45 total +7 over the Kings
  • Assists to Turnovers: 26 assists; 11 turnovers that became 12 Sacramento points
  • Second chance points: Suns 19 Kings 11
  • Fast Break Points: Suns 18 Kings 14

Sacramento (12-23)

  • Field goal shooting: 37-for-80 (46.2-percent)
  • 3-Point shooting: 8-for-24 (33.3-percent)
  • Free Throws: the Kings put in 19-of-23 opportunities from the line (82.6-percent)
  • Rebounds: 9 offensive 29 defensive 38 total -7 to the Suns
  • Assists to Turnovers: 22 assists; 10 turnovers that turned into 15 Phoenix points
  • Points in the paint: Kings 40 Suns 38
DSC00788
Frank Mason III drives through traffic to the basket versus the Suns Photo Jordon Chapin SportsRadioService.com

Up Next

Phoenix

The Suns headed home after the game and will host the Philadelphia 76ers on New Year’s Eve. The Suns and Kings will meet one more time this season on April 3, 2018 in Phoenix.

Sacramento

The Kings will also be back in action on last day of 2017 when they will host the Memphis Grizzlies at the Golden 1 Center in a 4:00 pm tilt. Sacramento will then have a busy first week of the New Year as they will host the Hornets, Nuggets and Spurs to kickoff the month of January.

 

 

Kings Press Row Podcast for 12-13-17: A split at home and back on the road again

DSC00656
De’Aaron Fox was not afraid to go up against the veteran DeRozan (Photo Jordan Chapin SportsRadioService.com)

Host: Charlie O

  • A look back at the home games with Toronto and Phoenix

  • A look ahead at a very tough four-game road trip to Minnesota, Toronto, Philly and Brooklyn

DSC00650
Buddy Hield directs the offense against the Raptors (Photo Jordan Chapin SportsRadioService.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kings black out Suns 99-92; Sac wins two out of last three

Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph, left, drives against Phoenix Suns forward TJ Warren during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings won 99-92. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

By Tony Renteria

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Kings (9-18) were looking to rebound from a bad home loss against against the Toronto Raptors and got what they were looking for with a much-needed 99-92 win over the struggling Phoenix Suns (9-20) at Golden 1 Center in California’s capital.

The Kings, who have now won two of the last three games, are looking to make a move up from last place in the Pacific Division by beating the Suns, who are directly above the Kings in the standings. With tonight’s win, the Kings are now in fourth place and a game ahead of the Suns.

Kings’ George Hill made a nice return to the starting lineup with a solid stat line of 18 points with seven boards and five assists. Hill has been averaging only nine points a game, but in this return, he played a quality game in only 28 minutes. Veteran Zach Randolph, who has been playing center for the young Kings, chipped in 17 points himself.

The Suns, who are are really on a tail spin by dropping eight of their last 10 games before tonight’s loss, really need to turn things around soon if they hope to salvage this season at all.¬† Interim coach Jay Triano is not not helping his cause to remain at the helm of this once proud franchise with effort from his squad like tonight. The Suns were led by third player T.J. Warren, who scored 18 points, but had less than 40% shooting from the field.¬† He missed all four of his three point attempts against the Kings.

With the win tonight, the Kings have evened up the series this season to one game apiece with each team winning on their home floor.

The Suns head up to Canada to play the mentioned Raptors Wednesday night. while the Kings also head up north to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves on Thursday.