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Preview: Pistons (29-53) at Timberwolves (40-42)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: March 07, 2014 8:00 PM EDT

The Minnesota Timberwolves didn't help their playoff chances by losing to a lackluster opponent in their return from a lengthy road trip earlier this week.

The Timberwolves will try to bounce back by dealing another blow to the Detroit Pistons' postseason hopes Friday night.

Minnesota (30-30) had won six of seven and gone 4-1 on a five-game trip before a 118-106 loss Wednesday to a New York team that entered with seven straight defeats. The Timberwolves cut a 17-point deficit to two by the end of the third quarter but allowed the Knicks to pull away in the final period.


"We can't give in and say that this is a killer," coach Rick Adelman said after the opener to a four-game homestand. "I know everybody's going to say that you can't lose to the Knicks, it's a killer. ... We just have to go out and beat Detroit. We lost this game. It's not going to be perfect. I don't worry about this being really damaging. I worry about the way we played."

Minnesota is in 10th place in the Western Conference but faces a significant deficit in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot. Detroit (24-37) is ninth in the East and three games back of eighth-place Atlanta but has made little progress lately.

The Pistons have dropped eight of 10 overall and 11 of 13 on the road, including seven in a row while allowing an average of 112.6 points.

Detroit held New York to 38.6 percent shooting in a 96-85 home win Monday but allowed Chicago to pull away for a 105-94 victory two days later. The Bulls outscored the Pistons 34-24 in the final quarter.

"They hit shots, especially in the fourth quarter, and they picked up their intensity on defense," coach John Loyer said. "We didn't match that, and when you do that against a playoff team, you aren't going to win many games."

Helping keep Loyer's team within striking distance of a playoff berth is Atlanta's four-game skid.

While hoping to get some help from Golden State as it hosts the Hawks on Friday night, the Pistons will try to end a seven-game skid to Minnesota. Detroit's most recent win in the series was a 103-98 victory at the Target Center on April 14, 2010.

The Pistons have lost in their last three visits to Minneapolis after winning five in a row there and were blown out 121-94 on Dec. 10 at home in the only matchup this season.

Kevin Love, who had 26 points and 16 rebounds in that game, had a streak of 13 consecutive double-doubles snapped Wednesday. He had 19 points and eight rebounds, scoring one point in the second half.

Nikola Pekovic sat out most of the fourth quarter because Minnesota is restricting his minutes after a sore ankle caused him to miss a month. Pekovic had 17 points and six rebounds in his third game back, and he had 18 points against Detroit in December.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 DET  +400   +9.5   218 
 MIN  -500   -9.5   

 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 DET  +380   +9.5   218.5 
 MIN  -480   -9.5   

 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 DET  49%   27%   62% 
 MIN  51%   73%   38% 

 Dec 10, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MIN 121 Cover: 26 
 DET 94 Over: 215 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Oct 24, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MIN 98 Cover: 1.5 
 DET 99 Over: 197 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 6, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 101 Cover: 0 
 MIN 107 Over: 208 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 26, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MIN 105 Cover: 21 
 DET 82 Under: 187 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Oct 24, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 76 Under: 171 
 MIN 95 Cover: 15.5 
 Tools:   Recaps

 Friday, Mar 7
    Grizzlies at Bulls
7:05 PM EDT
    Kings at Raptors
7:05 PM EDT
    Cavaliers at Bobcats
7:05 PM EDT
    Nets at Celtics
7:35 PM EDT
    Jazz at Knicks
7:35 PM EDT
    Bucks at Pelicans
8:05 PM EDT
    Pistons at Timberwolves
8:05 PM EDT
    Trail Blazers at Mavericks
8:35 PM EDT
    Lakers at Nuggets
9:05 PM EDT
    Pacers at Rockets
9:35 PM EDT
    Hawks at Warriors
10:35 PM EDT
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