Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves (17-63) at Phoenix Suns (38-42)

Phoenix Suns 135, Minnesota Timberwolves 127 OT


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With both the Suns and Timberwolves now fighting more for ping pong balls than wins, Monday’s matchup between the two teams might come down to who wants to lose more.

Minnesota has lost 13 straight to tie Cleveland for the worst record in the NBA while Phoenix has dropped eight of 10 to free fall out of playoff contention.

The Suns currently sit in 10th place in the West but could drop to 11th if they lose and Utah wins.

Monday will be the second game of a back-to-back for Phoenix after falling in Dallas Sunday.

The Suns didn’t put out much effort against the Mavericks in their last away game of the season in the 115-90 loss.

“Well, we got off to a bad start and we were never in the game,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “They shot the ball well and we couldn’t come up with baskets and couldn’t come up with stops. That’s what the game was.”

Phoenix now returns home to close out the year with two home games this week.

“It’s hard when you’re not playing for anything to try and make it count,” Steve Nash said. “We haven’t done a good job of that and it’s up to us try to finish these last two games on a positive note.”

The loss clinched the Suns’ first losing season in nine years.

Phoenix has won seven straight against Minnesota and look to sweep the season series Monday.

The two teams last met less than a week ago in Minneapolis, with the Suns taking home a 10-point victory.

The Timberwolves were without star forward Kevin Love, who hasn’t played since April 1 against Miami.

The game Monday will likely be a competition between the two benches.

In their last meeting, no Suns starter played the fourth quarter. The game was put in the hands of Aaron Brooks and the rest of the second unit while the rest of the team sat and watched.

Sunday in Dallas, no Phoenix starter played more than 28 minutes.

With just two games left on the schedule, now isn’t exactly the time to play guys for 48 minutes. Gentry is trying to get the young guys some work so hopefully next fall, the team will be more cohesive as a single unit.

Marcin Gortat scored 15 last night to lead the team and he scored 20 when the Suns last met Minnesota.

It seems that the Polish Hammer isn’t quite ready for this season to be over. In his new role as a starter, Gortat is doing what he’s been hoping to do for his entire career as a professional in the NBA.

Steve Nash was limited to 25 minutes Sunday while battling a hamstring injury. Nash said he wants to play in the two remaining games but how much he plays is still up in the air.

The last time Minnesota beat Phoenix was Jan. 16, 2009.

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