After Monday's bad home loss to the woeful Grizzlies the Timberwolves (42-33) got quite a bit of luck Tuesday as the Nuggets, Pelicans and Spurs all lost.
The Nuggets (40-35) losing carried the most weight because it keeps them two games behind the 8th-place Wolves. Unfortunately, the Clippers (40-34) won so they're within 1.5 games of Minnesota.
Just ahead of the Wolves are the Jazz (42-32), Spurs (43-32) and Pelicans (43-32).
If the Wolves beat the Hawks (21-53) tonight they'll be with 0.5 games of fifth place.
Utah also has a big game Wednesday night at home against the Boston Celtics, and the Clippers are on the second night of a back-to-back in Phoenix.
And like we mentioned over the weekend, the Spurs and Pelicans are entering very tough portions of their schedules, and it could show up in the standings later this week.
The Spurs also lost LaMarcus Aldridge to an injury Tuesday night, so they'll likely be shorthanded Thursday against the Thunder.
And the Pelicans' next game is Friday against the scorching hot Cleveland Cavaliers, so the time is now for the Wolves to move up in the West.
"Just be ready. We have prideful guys, too. We're disappointed with the way we played [Monday] and we have to bounce back tomorrow," head coach Tom Thibodeau said Tuesday.
Note: Jimmy Butler has not been cleared for contact yet, but Thibodeau said that's the next step in his recovery from a torn meniscus.
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