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Golden State at Minnesota

Venue: Target Center
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With four starters and six key players out with injuries, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been searching for help.

They'd like to see Josh Howard provide some as soon as Friday night.

A day after signing the former All-Star to a one-year deal, Howard is expected to be in uniform when short-handed Minnesota hosts Golden State on Friday night.

Brandon Roy (sore knee), JJ Barea (sprained foot) and Nikola Pekovic (sprained ankle) missed Wednesday's 89-87 home loss to Charlotte, joining Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Chase Budinger among the walking wounded for Minnesota.

Down to nine healthy players on the roster and with Roy, Barea and Pekovic unlikely to return Friday, the Timberwolves (5-3) made a move Thursday in signing Howard to a one-year deal. The 32-year-old, who averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 43 games with Utah last season, worked out for the Wolves on Monday in Dallas.

"We need somebody at that spot," coach Rick Adelman said. "We looked around and he seemed to be a good candidate."

Though Howard is unlikely to play heavy minutes Friday, he could spell Andrei Kirilenko, who has played more than 42 minutes in three consecutive games as Minnesota's lone healthy starter. He finished with a season-high 26 points and 12 rebounds against Charlotte for his third consecutive double-double.

"It's been hard, but you have to give our guys credit," Adelman said. "We talked to them today about the fact that we can win games, even though you're short-handed."

Despite the barrage of injuries, the Wolves are staying competitive by being one of the league's top defensive teams. Minnesota, which had won four of five before falling to the visiting Bobcats, leads the Western Conference in points allowed (88.5) and opponent field goal percentage (41.4).

"Offensively, we don't have a lot of firepower," Adelman said. "But if you defend well enough, it helps your offense."

Defense and rebounding have also been the keys for the Warriors (4-4), who are also among the NBA leaders in opponent field goal percentage (41.9) and are 4-0 when they outrebound their opponent.

Rookie Harrison Barnes played a major role in the effort on the boards Wednesday as Golden State held a 44-29 advantage in a 92-88 victory over Atlanta.

The seventh overall pick had a breakout performance with 19 points and 13 rebounds after failing to record more than 14 points or five boards in his first seven games.

David Lee added 18 points and 10 rebounds for Golden State, which snapped a two-game skid before starting a three-game road trip that includes stops in Oklahoma City and Dallas.

"We go on a road trip with some tough stops and we're excited to have some momentum going for sure," Lee said.

The Warriors have beaten the Timberwolves in eight of the last 10 meetings, including both in Minnesota last season.

Golden State, however, learned that center Andrew Bogut, who has missed the last three games, will be out longer than expected while he continues to rehab his surgically repaired left ankle.

The team is already without guard Brandon Rush, who tore his ACL on Nov. 2.

"We're missing two of our best five players, so we're in a similar situation (as Minnesota)," coach Mark Jackson said. "But you still have to find a way to handle your business until those get back healthy."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Golden State 3.5 Minnesota -3.5
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Golden State2nd Pacific 5031.61776-4Won 1
Minnesota3rd Northwest 4041.494184-6Lost 2

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Injuries
Golden St.
PlayerInjury
A IguodalaKnee
Minnesota
PlayerInjury
S MuhammadKnee
 
Key Players
David<br>Lee
David
Lee
, C
37.4 Min. Per Game 24.4 Brandon<br>Roy
Brandon
Roy
, SG
14.8 Pts. Per Game 5.8
3.5 Ast. Per Game 4.6
9.9 Reb. Per Game 2.8
42.9 Field Goal % 31.4
0.0 Three Point % 0.0
81.5 Free Throw % 70.0
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
Golden State Warriors1273.87
Minnesota Timberwolves1473.02
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Jan 18MinnesotaMIN 98-72
Jan 21 @ UtahMIN 112-97
Feb 22 @ UtahMIN 121-104
Apr 16Minnesota 
 
Other Games
Dal 83 Final
Ind 103
Utah 93 Final
Phi 99
Orl 110 Final
Det 106
OKC 110 Final
NO 95
NY 95 Final
Mem 105
Hou 117 Final
Port 119
Atl 112 Final
Sac 96
Pho 102 Final
LAL 114