Jan 21, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

PREVIEW: Wolves at Rockets- Jan. 23

The Rockets will try to avoid a 14th straight loss when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night at Toyota Center. It’s the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this season, and the Wolves will try for the sweep of the season series. This is the first game of a three-game homestand for the Rockets.

Eye on the Wolves

Record: 24-24 (T-7th in Western Conference)

Offensive rating (rank): 113.2 (16th)

Defensive rating (rank): 113.2 (14th)

The Wolves enter Monday’s game having won 8-of-11 after Saturday’s win over the Rockets in Minneapolis. Anthony Edwards, who was questionable to play in that game, lit up the Rockets for a season-high 44 points on 17-of-29 shooting, which included a couple of poster dunks. He also drained eight 3-pointers, one fewer than the entire Rockets team. Edwards is not on the injury report for this game, but Rudy Gobert is. He is questionable with the groin injury that has forced him to miss the last three games.

Matchup to watch: Rockets turnover offense vs. Wolves turnover defense

In the previous three games against Minnesota, 21.8% of the Rockets’ possessions have ended in a turnover, which makes sense because no team turns the ball over more than the Rockets, and only three teams force more turnovers than the Wolves. Houston has committed 66 turnovers in three games against Minnesota this season, leading to 90 points. The Rockets will be without starting point guard Kevin Porter Jr. for a sixth straight game, and the Rockets have committed at least 20 turnovers in three of the previous five.

What I’m watching for

Without Rudy Gobert on Saturday night, the Wolves started their backup center, Naz Reid, against Alperen Sengun. The Rockets center torched Reid, scoring 13 points in the first half on 6-of-6 shooting, but the Wolves adjusted early in the third quarter and downsized by removing Reid from the game and never bringing him back. Sengun did not make a shot against the small ball Wolves. Gobert is questionable to play on Monday, and if he doesn’t, how will Chris Finch attack Sengun, who has been the Rockets’ best player the last couple of weeks? Even if Reid starts, the Wolves will likely opt to play small instead of going with backup center Luka Garza, so can the Rockets figure out a way to keep Sengun involved in the offense this time around?

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