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Everything is trending Minnesota’s way as the Timberwolves invade Quicken Loans Arena to take on the sagging Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.
However, Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, whose team is hitting the road after extending their winning streak at Target Center to 12, offered words of caution heading into tonight’s game.
“They have LeBron (James),” Thibodeau told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “And they still have one of the best home records [19-7] in the NBA.”
OK, but here’s this:
Per ESPN Stats & Info, LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers are 4-point home underdogs tonight in Minnesota. It will be only the SIXTH game LeBron plays as a home ‘dog in past the 10 seasons.
Cleveland (30-22), which still resides (barely) in third place in the Eastern Conference standings, has hit the skids. The Cavaliers are just 7-14 in their last 21 games, including a 116-98 collapse at Orlando.
The Magic entered the game tied for the worst record in the league at 16-36, playing without their best player, Aaron Gordon, surrendered 43 points in the first quarter and trailed by 21 points with four minutes left in the first half… and won by 18 points.
Now, here come the Timberwolves (34-22), who lambasted the Cavaliers 127-99 on Jan. 8 at Target Center. In that game, Minnesota led by as many as 41 points before settling for the 27-point triumph.
It’s reached the point even opposing players — Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, being the most recent — saying the Cavaliers can’t be underestimated.
“We’re going to take what the game gives us. We’re not going to try to be out there Mike Tyson,” he told the Star-Tribune. “We’re obviously not going to be out there trying to be Floyd Mayweather either. We’re just going to take what the game gives us and try to go with the flow and stick to our game plan.”