After having their longest winning streak of the season snapped due to their worst second half of 2006-07, the Minnesota Timberwolves look to rebound against a team they have struggled against on the road—the Milwaukee Bucks.
Minnesota tries to avoid its third consecutive loss at the Bradley Center when it closes out a three-game trip against Milwaukee on Saturday.
The Timberwolves (10-10) have lost their annual visit to Milwaukee the past two seasons, including a 95-92 defeat on Jan. 10 last season, when the Bucks’ Michael Redd led all scorers with 22 points.
If the Timberwolves are going to reverse the tide at the Bradley Center, they will have to overcome their listless second-half performance in Wednesday’s 95-82 loss at San Antonio.
Minnesota took a 56-48 lead into the locker room, but scored a season-low 26 points and committed 17 turnovers after the break as its four-game winning streak was halted.
“I thought we had an excellent game in the first half,” Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. “In the second half they turned up the juice and we didn’t respond.”
Kevin Garnett managed only two second-half points on free throws after scoring 17 in the first two quarters.
“We live and learn from these things,” Garnett said. “I’d rather it happen now than later.”
Garnett, who leads the Wolves with 21.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, shot just 6-for-15 from the field, including 1-for-7 from 3-point range.
The Bucks (9-14) have won three consecutive home games and four of the last five. However, the Bucks have dropped consecutive games—both on the road—and hope a return home will help them avoid their third losing streak of at least three games already this season.
The Bucks shot a season-low 47.1 percent (16-for-34) from the free-throw line and were outrebounded 59-43 Friday in a 117-111 loss to the Bulls.
“I’m surprised we were in the game. Wow. That’s almost 20 (missed) free throws. Wow. I mean, wow, wow. If we make 10 of those we win easy,” Bucks guard Mo Williams said.
Redd scored 32 points in the loss after a season-low nine in a 108-95 defeat at New Jersey on Wednesday. He leads the Bucks with a career-high 28.1 points per game, including a 30.4 average at home.
Ruben Patterson, who is in his first season with the Bucks after being acquired in an offseason trade from Denver, came within three assists of his first career triple-double on Friday.
Patterson had 21 points with a season-high 13 rebounds and seven assists.
The small forward is averaging 25.7 points during Milwaukee’s three-game home winning streak.
The Bucks hope Patterson and Redd can help them avoid getting closer to their season-high four-game skid from Nov. 6-11. The Bucks dropped another three in a row from Nov. 15-21, part of a 3-8 start to the season.