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This matchup looks like it will end up very different from the tight two-point margin of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in their previous head-to-head February. Three quarters in and the Cavaliers’ offense has really been able to impose its will, dominating Minnesota 92-71 three quarters in.
Cleveland has been relying on center Jarrett Allen, who has 17 points along with eight boards and two blocks, and small forward Lauri Markkanen, who has 19 points. Allen does need to be careful, however, as he is in foul trouble with four. Power forward Evan Mobley is also in foul trouble with four.
Minnesota hasn’t had any offensive standouts so far with all players held to 12 points or fewer.
Halftime deficits have spelled doom for Minnesota, who have lost 100% of the games in which they were down going into the the fourth quarter.
Cleveland @ Minnesota
Current Records: Cleveland 14-12; Minnesota 11-14
The Cleveland Cavaliers will square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 8 p.m. ET on Friday at Target Center. The Cavaliers should still be feeling good after a big win, while Minnesota will be looking to regain their footing.
You’re bound to get a positive result if you outscore your opponent every quarter, and that’s exactly how it played out for Cleveland on Wednesday. Everything went their way against the Chicago Bulls as they made off with a 115-92 victory. Cleveland relied on the efforts of power forward Evan Mobley, who had 16 points in addition to nine boards and five blocks, and point guard Darius Garland, who had 24 points and six assists.
Meanwhile, Minnesota took a serious blow against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, falling 136-104. This matchup was a close 60-59 at the break, but unfortunately for Minnesota it sure didn’t stay that way. The losing side was boosted by center Karl-Anthony Towns, who had 22 points and five assists along with seven rebounds.
Barring any buzzer beaters, the Cavaliers are expected to win a tight contest. They are currently nine-for-nine against the spread in their most recent games, a trend bettors might want to take into account.
Cleveland is now 14-12 while the Timberwolves sit at 11-14. Two stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: Cleveland comes into the contest boasting the fewest fouls per game in the league at 16.4. On the other end of the spectrum, Minnesota is stumbling into the game with the most fouls per game in the league, having accrued 22.7 on average. Keep an eye on whether or not foul trouble puts Minnesota in a difficult position.
The Cavaliers are a slight 1.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.
The line on this game has moved a bit since it opened, as it started out with the Timberwolves as a 1-point favorite.
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Cleveland have won seven out of their last 12 games against Minnesota.
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