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NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves vs New Orleans Pelicans | 9:00 AM (PST)

Mary C

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With fewer players than usual, the New Orleans Pelicans just played one of their finest games of the year. They expect to be more powerful when they faced Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Despite the absence of their top two scorers, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans upset the visiting Indiana Pacers 113-93 on Monday night. Herbet Jones Jr., another starter, was also in health and safety standards. Trey Murphy III and Dyson Daniels were both absent from the rotation. Williamson, who has missed the previous three games, stated after practice Tuesday that he will play against the Wolves, and head coach Willie Green stated that Murphy and Daniels are both likely.  

All nine players that were available in New Orleans played at least 17 minutes, and all but one scored. “There was no time where it was like, 'Let's try to make it a game,” William said. It was a simple message: ‘We’re about to go out here to win this game, and we’re going to execute,’ and they did. 

"We have a deep team - so many different pieces that can be utilized on any given night." Despite their absences, the Pelicans limited Indiana to 38 points in the first half, the fewest they have allowed in a half this season while the Pacers’ 93 pointes were the third fewest the Pelicans have allowed in a game. The Pelicans have won 12 of their previous 14 home games, with defeats to the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. New Orleans has won three straight games despite missing important players while Minnesota has dropped three straights. 

Karl-Anthony Towns, an All-Star big man for the Timberwolves, has been out for the last month with a calf injury, and three rotational players, Kyle Anderson, Tauren Prince and Jordan McLaughlin, were also out from Monday’s 113-110 loss to Miami. The Wolves had 22 turnovers despite shooting 54.4 percent from the field. Due to this, the Heat attempted 102 shots as opposed to 79 for Minnesota. The turnovers were significant, according to Naz Reid of Minnesota, who had 21 points off the bench. “That’s 22 shots we didn’t get,” he said. With 2.5 seconds remaining, the Wolves pressured Miami into missing a shot but were unable to try a possible game-tying shot due to a “fitting” turnover according to head coach Chris Finch. 

In contrast to the Pelicans, who are in the middle of a three-game homestand, the Wolves will be playing their third game of a four-game road trip. 

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