The L.A. Clippers will host the suddenly cold Minnesota Timberwolves at Arena on Tuesday night in a game that could have massive playoff implications. Both teams will be desperate for a win following a rough recent stretch of basketball, but which team will prevail? Continue reading for our Clippers-Timberwolves preview.

Game Information

Where: Arena, Los Angeles, California

When: 7:00 p.m. PT

How to Tune in: TNT, TruTV, ClipperVision, AM 570

Tickets: For great deals on Clippers tickets, check out Barry’s Tickets!

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: James Harden – Terance Mann – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Ivica Zubac

Timberwolves: Mike Conley – Nickeil Alexander-Walker – Anthony Edwards – Jaden McDaniels – Naz Reid

Injury Report

Clippers: Russell Westbrook Out (Hand)

Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns Out (Knee), Rudy Gobert Probable (Hamstring), Kyle Anderson Probable (Shoulder)

The Big Picture

Although March is not even a couple of weeks old, January and February couldn’t possibly feel any farther away for the Clippers than they do currently. As the Clippers have played below .500 basketball since the franchise-best Grammy road trip, even sniffing January’s 12-3 mark and the highs of the high that came with it seem unfathomable.

Yet, even given how south everything has gone lately, quite frankly, none of that should matter come 7:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday night at Crypto. As we saw on March 3rd when the Clippers were in a similar spot and pulled off an 89-88 rock fight of a win in Minnesota to momentarily restore some optimism and good vibes (only to blow a double-digit lead the following night in Milwaukee in a disappointing loss to the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks), they have a chance to do something similar on Tuesday. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard rested during Sunday’s matinee loss to the Bucks and should be good to go Tuesday, giving L.A. more than enough to extend an ailing Minnesota’s losing streak to three games.

The Antagonist

So, that bump in the road the Clippers have encountered? Minnesota’s there as well. Blame poor late-game execution on offense, injuries, or whatever — the Timberwolves have already lost more games this month (three) than all of last month, and with Karl-Anthony Towns out after undergoing knee surgery, it’s reasonable to be bearish on the team for the time being. Injuries and a bad fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers aside, the T’Wolves are still a very potent and unique defensive team that has made life miserable for the Clippers this season (assuming Rudy Gobert is healthy and able to play). Their length is likely to bother L.A, but we’ll see if any stylistic adjustments are made from the Clippers’ side in their fourth crack this season at solving Minnesota’s defense.

The Bottom Line
Both teams need this game. But speaking as a Clippers follower, the Clips really need it. A win would give them a split of the season series with Minnesota (important for end-of-season tiebreakers and whatnot) and would keep them tied in the loss column with the T’Wolves. A loss would drop L.A. that much closer to the fifth seed, where the red-hot New Orleans Pelicans are getting dangerously close to threatening Ty Lue’s squad for homecourt advantage. Cliche, but this is probably the biggest game of the Clippers’ season. Let’s see if they treat it as such.

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