Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Bass

Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic return to Timberwolves lineup Saturday


Minnesota still holds out hope of making a playoff push — they are 5.5 games back of the eight seed Suns and will need to go about 20-5 the rest of the way to catch Phoenix’s pace. That’d be heck of a run.

So it’s good news that Minnesota is about to get its second and third leading scorers, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic back on Saturday when they take on the Kings. The team made the announcement Saturday after shootaround.

Pekovic has been out a month — 13 games to be specific — with an ankle injury. He is a skilled scorer around the basket who averaged 18 points a game on 53.2 percent shooting plus he pulled down 9.1 rebounds a game. The Timberwolves offense jumps 4.5 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court.

Martin has been out seven games with a thumb injury. He is averaging 19 points a game and is shooting 39.9 percent from three, providing much-needed floor spacing for the Timberwolves. Minnesota’s offense jumps 3.8 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court.

When Martin and Pekovic are on the court together the Timberwolves are +5.4 per 100 possessions.

Getting these two back makes Minnesota better. Probably not 20-5 better, but they will be improved.

Anthony Bennett moves around, dunks on Lakers’ Upshaw (VIDEO)

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If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.

Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.

Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.

Report: Cavs sign Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas
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The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:

In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.