Jimmy Butler's return can't save Wolves from 6th straight road loss

Butler was essentially a non-factor the first three quarters of the game.
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Jimmy Butler

Like clockwork, the Timberwolves continued to struggle on the road with or without Jimmy Butler, losing 120-109 to the Clippers on Monday night. 

It was Minnesota's sixth straight road loss to begin the season and ninth straight dating back to last season's playoff series against the Rockets. 

Butler, who sat out Sunday's loss in Portland for "precautionary rest," had just four points through three quarters before exploding for 16 points in the fourth quarter. But it wasn't nearly enough as the Wolves once again couldn't get defensive stops when they needed them. 

The Clippers made 14-of-31 3-pointers and were 20-of-22 at the free-throw line. Minnesota made just five 3-pointers all all night, none from Butler who's missed his last 10 from deep after connecting on six triples a week ago against the Lakers. 

Minnesota will hang out in Los Angeles for an off day Tuesday before taking on the Lakers again on Wednesday. L.A., of course, has been one of the rumored potential landing spots for Butler if he's traded, and he was asked about calling it his future home. 

"No, I'm in Minnesota for the time being," Butler answered, via ESPN. "I'll enjoy the sunshine for a couple days, and then if we go back there, we go back there."

If they go back? Well, the Wolves don't return to the Twin Cities until wrapping up a five-game road trip in Sacramento on Friday night, so it's possible that Minnesota trades him by then.

Meanwhile, Butler was non-committal about playing Wednesday against the Lakers. 

"I don't know, man," Butler said. "I'm still taking in how we just lost. I'm not even worried about tomorrow or the day after that."

Butler said last week that he'll sit out games if his body doesn't feel up to playing as to avoid any general soreness blossoming into a legitimate injury. 

That's frustrating, even infuriating for fans, but it's probably best for the Wolves if they plan on trading him anyway because a hurt or injured Jimmy Butler only decreases his trade value. 

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