Minnesota (22-55) at Los Angeles (18-59)

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Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EDT Tue Apr 7, 2009
  • TV: KSTC, PRIME
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The Los Angeles Clippers have been severely short-handed by injuries all season. The last thing they need is poor decision-making off the court.

Leading scorer Zach Randolph’s status is uncertain following an arrest for investigation on drunken driving heading into the Clippers’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Randolph was pulled over around 2:25 a.m. Monday, and was taken to a jail in downtown Los Angeles after a sobriety test was conducted. He was later released on $5,000 bail.

Randolph had 18 points in the Clippers’ 88-85 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night, and is averaging 21.1 in 33 games since being acquired in a trade with New York.

Los Angeles (18-59) played without Chris Kaman (flu), Marcus Camby (ankle), Ricky Davis (knee) and Mardy Collins (foot) against the Lakers. It’s uncertain if any of those players will be on the court Tuesday.

But Al Thornton returned after missing the previous two games due to a foot injury, scoring three points in 21 minutes off the bench. The forward has flourished in his second NBA season, averaging 16.8 points and 5.2 rebounds.

Eric Gordon, the Clippers’ top rookie this season, is second on the team with 15.7 points a contest. He’s scored at least 24 in two of his last three games and posted 25 in a 94-86 loss to Minnesota (22-55) on Jan. 19 in the teams’ most recent meeting.

That came during what was easily the Timberwolves’ best stretch of the season, one of 12 wins in a 16-game span following a 13-game losing streak.

But the Wolves lost leading scorer Al Jefferson to a season-ending knee injury Feb. 8, and they’ve gone 5-22 without one of the league’s top post players.

Second-leading scorer Randy Foye has missed four straight games and seven of Minnesota’s last 17 due to various injuries, and key reserve Craig Smith has been out four in a row due to a strained calf.

Already with a significantly thin bench, the Wolves had to make do without impressive rookie Kevin Love (flu) in a 110-87 loss to Denver on Sunday night.

Jefferson, Foye, Smith and Love combined for 63 points in January’s matchup with the Clippers.

That was the last of four straight road wins for Minnesota. The Wolves have a chance to win two in a row away from the Target Center for the first time since then.

Minnesota snapped a nine-game road losing streak with a 103-102 victory over Utah on Friday night, only to follow that with a terrible effort against the Nuggets.

Wolves coach Kevin McHale said his team’s injuries aren’t an excuse for lack of effort.

“We’ve got to play hard. You’re a professional basketball player, you’ve got to go out there and play hard,” McHale told the team’s official Web site. “That’s your job. If guys aren’t there, you’ve got to step up and play.”

McHale said Smith is close to returning from a strained right calf, while Foy’s status remains uncertain.

Love, who leads all rookies with 8.9 rebounds per game and 25 double-doubles, is expected to return. The fifth overall draft pick averaged 17.1 points in nine games before illness limited him to two versus the Jazz.

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Tuesday, Apr 7