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News » Timberwolves-Clippers Preview 2009-11-22

Timberwolves-Clippers Preview 2009-11-22

Timberwolves-Clippers Preview 2009-11-22The Minnesota Timberwolves seem headed to yet another terrible season. That doesn't mean the Los Angeles Clippers can take them lightly.

After barely winning the first matchup, the Clippers look to hand the Timberwolves their 13th straight loss and keep them winless on the road Monday night.

Minnesota has lost 12 straight since winning its season opener 95-93 against New Jersey on Oct. 28. A loss to the Clippers (5-9) would match the Timberwolves' longest skid from last season, set from Nov. 29 to Dec. 23.

Minnesota has lost its last eight games by double digits and has surrendered 113.0 points per contest en route to going 0-6 on the road, including a 106-78 loss to Portland on Saturday night.

"We're not secure as a team, we're not together as a team, and we don't have enough experience as a team," Wolves coach Kurt Rambis said. "When we get in these tough situations, we don't know what to do."

Rambis' team couldn't find a way to pull out a close game with Los Angeles on Nov. 2, losing 93-90 after Eric Gordon made the go-ahead layup with 1:32 to play. The Clippers committed 18 turnovers and shot 42.7 percent, but were able to beat the Wolves for the second time in the teams' last seven meetings.

Chris Kaman had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead Los Angeles. Kaman and Baron Davis have been carrying most of the Clippers' scoring load, combining to average 36.7 points a contest.

The duo, though, got plenty of help in a 106-99 victory over Denver on Friday night. Rasual Butler had 27 points off the bench and Al Thornton added 18.

"We're so deep that anyone can lead us in scoring," Davis said. "If we continue to play like that, I think we're going to have different leading scorers every night."

Los Angeles had lost five of six, with Butler shooting 33.9 percent during that span.

The veteran swingman had been struggling to contribute after being acquired in an offseason trade with New Orleans. He averaged a career-high 11.2 points for the Hornets last season.

"I just hadn't been shooting the ball lately. I've been playing a pretty good floor game, but my shot just was off," Butler said. "My teammates and the coaching staff have supreme confidence in my ability to shoot the ball and they continue to be positive with me."

Kaman, meanwhile, was held to a season-low 13 points. The veteran center is off to an outstanding start after struggling with injuries over the past two seasons.

Kaman will likely be matched at times with Minnesota's Al Jefferson, who has been inconsistent in 11 games after undergoing knee surgery in February.

Jefferson had 20 points and 10 rebounds versus the Blazers in his second game back after the death of his grandmother. He's averaging 16.0 points after posting a career-best 23.1 last season.

Jefferson is averaging 24.6 points and 11.5 rebounds in his last seven games against the Clippers.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 22, 2009


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