Preview: Williamson and the Pelicans take on the Timberwolves


New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson (1) shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves’ James Johnson in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — New Orleans Pelicans (28-35, 11th in the Western Conference) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (20-44, 14th in the Western Conference)

Minneapolis; Saturday, 8 p.m. EDT

BOTTOM LINE: Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans play the Minnesota Timberwolves. Williamson is eighth in the NBA averaging 26.8 points per game.

The Timberwolves are 14-24 against Western Conference opponents. Minnesota is sixth in the Western Conference with 10.3 offensive rebounds per game led by Karl-Anthony Towns averaging 2.6.

The Pelicans are 16-19 against Western Conference opponents. New Orleans is seventh in the NBA scoring 114.9 points per game while shooting 48.2%.

The teams play for the third time this season. The Timberwolves won the last meeting 135-105 on March 11. Jaylen Nowell scored 28 points to help lead Minnesota to the victory.

TOP PERFORMERS: Towns is averaging 24.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists for the Timberwolves. Anthony Edwards is averaging 21.1 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 41.3% over the last 10 games for Minnesota.

Williamson is averaging 26.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the Pelicans. Brandon Ingram is averaging 26.3 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 49.2% over the last 10 games for New Orleans.

LAST 10 GAMES: Timberwolves: 6-4, averaging 113.1 points, 45.7 rebounds, 26.3 assists, 8.7 steals and 5.5 blocks per game while shooting 45.6% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 116.1 points on 47.8% shooting.

Pelicans: 4-6, averaging 116.3 points, 49.3 rebounds, 26.3 assists, 8.4 steals and 4.3 blocks per game while shooting 48.8% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 112.1 points on 44.7% shooting.

INJURIES: Timberwolves: Malik Beasley: out (hamstring), Jarrett Culver: out for season (ankle).

Pelicans: Nickeil Alexander-Walker: out (ankle), Steven Adams: out (toe), Josh Hart: out (thumb).

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