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Game Preview: Phoenix Suns host Booker's 'son', Timberwolves

The Phoenix Suns take on the Minnesota Timberwolves today - the third matchup of a Minnesota team visiting the valley this weekend (and losing).

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns host Minnesota Timberwolves

When: 1:30PM Sunday

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix

TV: FoxSports Arizona

Radio: 98.7 FM

While Sundays are reserved for football these days, the Arizona Cardinals already won on Thursday night so local valley fans have a chance to watch the Suns take on the Timberwolves.

The Phoenix major sports teams are going for the hat-trick over Minnesota today, as the Cardinals beat the Vikings on Thursday and then the Coyotes beat the Wild on Friday. Now the Suns can win today, making the valley 3-0 over the Land of a Thousand Lakes.

The Wolves

Talk about a Kentucky connection, the one between Suns rookie Devin Booker and Wolves rookie Karl-Anthony Town is much tighter than anything Booker's got with the Suns.

While Suns fans are happy with the draft steal of Booker at #13 overall, the Wolves are a lot more ecstatic over their own steal at #1 overall with Towns.

The 20-year old Towns, paired with 20-year old Andrew Wiggins, form a great 1-2 punch for rising Wolves. Towns is posting 15 points, grabbing nearly 10 rebounds and blocking more than 2 shots per game, while Wiggins leads the team with 21 points per game to go along with nearly 4 assists.

The Wolves are led by point guard Ricky Rubio, as always, with 10 points and nearly 9 assists per game, and youngster Zach LaVine scores more than 14 points per game off the bench, along with nearly 4 assists and 4 rebounds.

These guys are growing up fast, with a 9-13 record that puts them just percentage points behind the Suns in the West standings.

The Suns

The Markieff Morris trade watch is still in full force. He hasn't played hardly at all since the Suns visited the Pistons a week and a half ago, and before that was the worst player on the team.

Morris' DNPs don't seem to be letting up, pointing to a December 15 clock that might trigger an impending trade. Somewhere in the trade package must sit a player who was signed this summer. Those free agents cannot be traded until December 15 at the earliest. Half the Suns roster fits that description, but not Morris and not Archie Goodwin. It's more likely another team's player must see the clock strike 12:01am on the 15th (Tuesday) for a deal to go through.

In the meantime, the Suns love the play lately of Jon Leuer and Mirza Teletovic at the PF spot, but are suffering overall from lack of Tyson Chandler anchoring the defense. Leuer and Teletovic have scored, together, about 27 points per game the last 8 games while pulling down 10 rebounds, in 51 total minutes a night. Not earth-shattering, but good enough.

Alex Len's star has risen the last 8 games as well, with Chandler out. Len is averaging 11.6 points and grabbing 8.4 rebounds while blocking 1.6 shots per game in 26 minutes as the starter. He should be able to maintain most of those numbers with Chandler back.

So that's three players deserving of time when Chandler comes back, making it a 4-man rotation. The Suns might just want to trade for a player at a different position than PF when they ship out Morris.

The matchup

This is the first time these teams are playing this year, so it's hard to tell what will happen. They are roughly equivalent teams in terms of likelihood to win any given night, so the difference might be the Suns home court advantage.


The Suns make it 3 wins in their last 4 games, putting down the Wolves on a good closing quarter. Devin Booker will play a large role, and make nearly all of his shots - outplaying Zach LaVine on the day.

Suns 110-104 win.

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