The Phoenix Suns will go for their ninth win in a row when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
Phoenix is coming off a 105-97 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, which marked the team’s eighth straight victory. Phoenix boasts the best record in the NBA and is aiming for a run at the NBA championship after falling just short in the NBA Finals last season.
Veteran point guard Chris Paul is determined to help the Suns reach their goal, but for now his focus is on the short term. Paul is averaging 14.5 points and 10.1 assists while shooting 48.7 percent.
«I always talk about leadership and being vocal,» teammate Devin Booker said. «Keeping everybody organized is the most underrated part besides the numbers that he puts up. Just making sure the team is ready to go and putting people in the right spots.
«He kind of puts the defense in a tough situation. It’s like a pick-your-poison thing with him, especially if he’s getting good screens and bigs are rolling. He makes it tough on the defense.»
So does Booker, who leads the team with 25 points per game. Deandre Ayton is second on the scoring list with 16.8 points to go along with 10.6 rebounds.
The Suns will face a Timberwolves team that is on short rest following a 124-115 loss at the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 31 points and 12 rebounds, and Anthony Edwards finished with 27 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists. But Minnesota could not find a way to slow down Golden State, which was led by Stephen Curry‘s 29 points.
Edwards has blossomed as a second-year player in Minnesota. He has won over coaches and teammates who think he could establish himself as a top player in the league.
«He has that mentality,» Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. «He believes that he can win any battle, any game, any matchup. …
«He’s got such a great spirit about him. He’s pretty much indomitable in that way. His teammates love him, and they love him for not only how he plays but who he is as a player because he’s genuine.»
The Timberwolves will look for a bounce-back performance from point guard D’Angelo Russell, who scored eight points on 3-for-10 shooting against Golden State. Russell missed five of seven attempts from beyond the arc and went 0-for-2 from the free-throw line.
The rest of Minnesota’s roster combined to go 21 of 25 from the charity stripe.
This is the second of three games between the Timberwolves and Suns this season. In their first matchup Nov. 15 in Minneapolis, the Suns held on for a 99-96 victory.
The third and final meeting of the season is scheduled for March 23 on the Timberwolves’ home court.
Phoenix is 19-5 at home this season. Minnesota is 11-14 on the road.
–Field Level Media