The Minnesota Timberwolves have lost nine of 11, and are coming off a 31-point thrashing.
The Golden State Warriors’ last month somehow has been even worse.
A win at Minnesota in late November was the Warriors’ only victory in their last 13 games. They’ll try to snap out of that horrendous stretch Tuesday night at home while spoiling the likely season debuts of Jonny Flynn(notes) and Martell Webster(notes) with the Timberwolves.
Minnesota (6-18) had dropped eight of 10 heading into Chicago on Saturday, but the losses weren’t particularly ugly. Only twice had the Timberwolves lost by more than 10 points, and those came against Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers.
There was nothing competitive about their performance against the Bulls. Minnesota turned the ball over 20 times and fell behind by 21 by halftime in a discouraging 113-82 loss.
“We’re not mature enough a team defensively to have our defense lock a team like this down,” coach Kurt Rambis said. “This is just one game, but we clearly didn’t come out with the energy we had been playing with. The guys in there know it.”
Golden State (8-16) has had a much more difficult time being competitive lately. The Warriors have been outscored by an average of 11.1 points in their last 13 games, picking up their 12th loss in that span Monday at Utah, 108-95.
“Our guys are giving it to me,” coach Keith Smart said. “They’re giving me what is necessary to get us moving in the right direction, to win. Now we just need to make sure we can stay together as a unit.”
Curry might be out for a while, which has to be a relief to the Timberwolves. They’ve lost their four meetings with the Warriors since Curry entered the league by an average of 16.5 points, including a 146-105 rout in their last trip to Oakland on Nov. 9, 2009.
Curry has averaged 23.5 points, 10.5 assists and 5.0 steals in the last two Golden State wins in the series.
The Timberwolves might want to focus their attention on Dorell Wright(notes). Golden State’s offseason acquisition had a career-high 30 points - hitting 9 of 12 3-pointers - in a 104-94 win at the Target Center on Nov. 27.
“He just needed a shot,” said Beasley, who had 28 points in the loss. “He just needed some minutes.”
Beasley and Kevin Love(notes) - who has 20 points and 15 rebounds in six straight games, a first since Charles Barkley accomplished the feat in 1989-90 - should be getting some much-needed help Tuesday.
Flynn is expected to make his season debut after working his way back from July hip surgery with two games in the NBDL. Swingman Martell Webster also should make his first appearance in a Timberwolves uniform since being acquired from Portland in June. He had back surgery during training camp.
Flynn - picked one spot ahead of Curry in the 2009 draft - averaged 15.0 points, 6.0 assists and 5.3 turnovers last season against Golden State.