8:10 pm
December 5

Hornets @ Timberwolves

Who will WIN this matchup?

Charlotte Hornets (11-12)

@ Minnesota Timberwolves (12-12)


Current odds:

Charlotte Hornets: (+170)

Minnesota Timberwolves: (-200)


 The line for this game is Timberwolves by 4.5 points.

• The Minnesota Timberwolves are winners of five of their last six games and reached .500 with a 103-91 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday. The Timberwolves will try to pull over .500 for the first time this season and finish up a winning four-game homestand when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. Minnesota fell off on the defensive end during a 118-109 loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday but found its form on that end while holding the Rockets to 29 points in the second half – nine in the fourth quarter – in Monday’s win.

• The Hornets dropped their last two games to fall below .500 and struggled on the defensive end in both setbacks. “I think we’ve just got to play better basketball,” Charlotte coach James Borrego told reporters. “East, West, it doesn’t matter. We’ve just got to play better basketball.”

• Charlotte star Kemba Walker is struggling of late and is averaging 19.2 points on 34.5 percent shooting over the last five games, including a 5-of-16 effort in Sunday’s 119-109 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Picking up some of the slack is power forward Frank Kaminsky, who followed up a scoreless effort in Friday’s loss to Utah with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting on Sunday. Kaminsky could see extended minutes on Wednesday with fellow power forward Marvin Williams expected to miss at least the next few games with a shoulder injury.

• Minnesota held four of its last five opponents under 100 points and is trying to develop a defensive identity. “Oh, absolutely,” small forward Robert Covington, who came over from Philadelphia and is known for his perimeter defense, told reporters. “A guy like me came in here, as far as the way I bill myself, holding guys accountable. The way I lead is by example. And it’s very contagious. You can see already how guys are picking it up. … That’s the effect I want to have, a positive influence on this team. It’s unique to see how we’ve gelled already.” Covington recorded two of the teams 11 steals on Monday and goes into play on Tuesday leading the NBA in average steals (2.26).

• Timberwolves SF Andrew Wiggins went 6-of-11 from the floor on Monday to snap a string of 10 straight games in which he failed to hit at least 50 percent of his shots.

• Hornets C Cody Zeller (ribs) missed the last two games but could return Wednesday.

• The teams split the series in each of the last two seasons.

StreakSmarter Pick
Minnesota Timberwolves