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Love, Rubio both out for Minnesota Saturday vs. Portland

Jan 5, 2013, 3:34 PM EDT

Ricky Rubio AP

Good news for the visiting Trail Blazers, bad news for a Timberwolves team that needs wins in a tight Western Conference.

Both Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio will sit out for the Minnesota Timberwolves against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Rubio has been out with back spasms and didn’t travel with Minnesota this week him hopes that treatment at the team facility would get him ready for this game. Didn’t work.

Love sprained the middle finger on his right hand, his shooting hand, in Thursday’s win over Denver.

Minnesota is being cautious and thinking long term. I get that. It’s the right thing to do.

But Minnesota is currently the nine seed in the West, half a game back of Portland. Separating the six seeded Rockets and the 11 seed Lakers is 3.5 games — six teams tightly bunched for three playoff spots. And that doesn’t include Dallas, another 2.5 games back of the Lakers.

Wins matter and are going to matter the rest of the way in the bottom of the West. And Minnesota needs to get its stars on the court consistently to reach its goal of the playoffs.

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