Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Tip-off: Thursday, January 17, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
The Los Angeles Clippers have survived a couple of difficult road tests without their All-Star point guard and tonight they have to prove their YouWager fans that they are capable of a third straight victory sans Chris Paul when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves. This NBA team has lost five of six without star Kevin Love.
After missing the past two games with a bruised right kneecap, Paul is a game-time decision for the Clippers (30-9) as it puts an end to this three-game road trip.
The 27 year-old player suffered the injury when he bumped knees with J.J. Redick on Saturday with 54 seconds left in a 104-101 defeat versus the Orlando Magic. The point guard is the team’s second-leading scorer at 16.8 points per game, leads the league in steals at 2.6 per game and ranks second with 9.7 assists per game.
Coach Vinny Del Negro would like for his team to win six out of seven games after rolling to back-to-back wins versus the Memphis Grizzlies and the Houston Rockets by a combined 34 points.
Eric Bledsoe has assisted the Clippers since Paul went down, totaling 33 points on 11-of-21 shooting in his first two starts of the basketball season.
Online sports betting experts consider the Clippers should be able to continue that efficiency against the Timberwolves who have allowed 104.9 points per game in its last nine and has the NBA’s worst defensive field goal percentage (50.4) this month.
Even with four straight defeat on their recent road trip, Minnesota (16-19) has won seven of their last nine at home, where they will play three of their next four games.
Nevertheless, the Timberwolves fell to 1-5 since its All-Star forward suffered a broken hand following a 113-98 defeat versus the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. The Mavs announced on Tuesday the operation to repair Love’s hand was successful, and he’d return sometime in March.
Center Nikola Pekovic has tried to assist in Love’s absence, averaging 19.2 points while shooting 60.0 percent and 10.8 rebounds in his last six games.
However, Minnesota averaged just 91.0 points on 41.3 percent shooting — including 17 for 66 (25.8 percent) from 3-point range — during its 0-4 road trip.
The Timberwolves are last in 3-point shooting at 29.7 percent and currently are on pace to become the second team in 10 seasons to finish below 30 percent from long range.