3 Most important games remaining on the Wolves' schedule

Los Angeles Clippers v Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Clippers v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages
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The regular season is entering the final stretch. Every squad in the association has crossed the 60-game plateau, competing in at least three-fourths of this season's contests. As for the Minnesota Timberwolves, they own a 43-19 record, good for second place in the Western Conference.

Much of the Wolves' success can be attributed to their proficiency in defeating teams with winning records. Minnesota is 23-14 against such teams and 19-5 against teams below the .500 mark.

A year ago, despite winning just 42 games, Minnesota also displayed an impressive record against quality teams. The Wolves were the only squad in the league to possess a positive record against winning teams and a negative record against losing teams.

This season, the Timberwolves are far more well-rounded, thus leading to an elevation in the standings. The Wolves have a winning record or are at least .500 against all but four teams in the NBA. Three of those teams are surprisingly lesser Eastern Conference squads, the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, and Toronto Raptors.

The only West squad the Wolves have a losing record against is the Phoenix Suns. Fortunately for Minnesota, they play two more contests against the Suns—one at home and one on the road.

Both games against Phoenix will be inherently difficult. However, for this exercise, we'll include just one of the two matchups: the April 5 tilt in Arizona. The other two are also against Western Conference teams away from home.

3. April 5 at Phoenix Suns

First, as promised, we have the Suns. In their initial matchup in Phoenix, the Wolves lost 133-115. Surprisingly, in today's ever-fast-paced league, the Wolves have only allowed more than 130 points once all season long.

The Suns shot 60.0 percent from the field and canned 17 triples at 54.8 percent against the Wolves. The All-Star duo of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker proved to be too much for Minnesota, combining for 62 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Head coach Chris Finch mentioned the Suns' comfortability as the main reason for such prolific shooting. Minnesota failed to force difficult attempts and also lacked on-ball pressure in this affair.

On average, the Wolves force more than 13 turnovers per game. However, in this matchup, Minnesota only forced nine giveaways. Although the defense was less-than-stellar, the Wolves were abysmal on offense.

Minnesota scored 115 but shot only 18.5 percent from downtown. Luckily, a 26-of-28 night from the foul line kept the Wolves within 20. Such a poor shooting night is rare for the Wolves, as they're the second-best 3-point shooting team (percentage-wise) in the NBA. Shooting 18.5 percent from beyond the arc is Minnesota's worst 3-point shooting night all season.

In the Suns vs. Timberwolves matchup a month from now, it'll be imperative for the Wolves to lock in defensively. Defending Durant, Booker, and Bradley Beal is no simple task. But Minnesota has the personnel to make life difficult for the Suns.

Despite ranking 7th in the West, the Suns place alongside several bottom-feeders in the turnover category. Phoenix ranks fourth-to-last in the association in giveaways per game. Forcing the action and limiting the fouls will be key in a Minnesota triumph.