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Wizards at Timberwolves: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Timberwolves: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS at MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

Where: Target Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

A road sweep?

The Wizards have a chance to complete their Western Conference road trip a perfect 5-0 on Monday night as they play at the Timberwolves, their final away game before returning home on Wednesday night to host the Dallas Mavericks. It hasn't been easy every night and the Wizards are winning against bad teams, yet still a 5-0 road trip would be very impressive.

The Wizards have already won five straight road games overall, dating back to March 1. If they beat Minnesota on Monday, they will have their longest road winning streak (six) since Dec. 22 of 2001, when Michael Jordan was playing for them. The longest road streak in franchise history is eight games, set back on Dec. 20 of 1978. Amazingly, the only road loss the Wizards have in their last 11 tries was at the Sixers who were wihout Joel Embiid.

[RELATED: VIDEO: DNC chair makes Wizards joke about Trump]

Putting heat on the Cavs

Winners of five straight games, the Wizards continue to climb the standings as teams around them play mediocre basketball. The Cavaliers are the only team ahead of the Wizards in the Eastern Conference and they have lost six of their last nine. 

The Cavs are off Monday night, but with another win the Wizards would move within 1 1/2 games of the top seed in the East. Cleveland next plays on Tuesday night against a Pistons team that just beat them on Thursday in Detroit.

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Turning the page

At 41-24, the Wizards are rolling and appear headed to the playoffs after missing out last season. Their magic number to secure a playoff spot is just seven games now.

One more win, in fact, will give the Wizards more wins than they had all of last season when they finished an even .500 at 41-41. They plan to win a lot more games than 42, but it would be a nice milestone after a down season last year.

[RELATED: NBA Power Rankings: Movement in the East]

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Scott Brooks isn't sure if Rui Hachimura will return before February

Scott Brooks isn't sure if Rui Hachimura will return before February

Rui Hachimura is set to miss his 16th straight game with a groin injury, and his return to the court doesn't seem close. 

Before the Wizards took on the Raptors Friday night, head coach Scott Brooks said he wasn't sure if Hachimura would return before the start of February. 

Previously, Hachimura was set scheduled to be reevaluated in mid-January, so it appears after that checkpoint, the Wizards aren't ready to bring back their promising young forward. 

Hachimura originally sustained the injury by accidentally getting kicked in the groin by teammate Isaac Bonga on December 16. Before going down, Hachimura was flashing plenty of promise as a versatile offensive weapon at the power forward spot. 

As one of the top rookies in the game before the injury, Hachimura seemed like a lock to play in the NBA's Rookie-Sophomore game at All-Star weekend. That's about a month away, so this new timeline would put Hachimura's availability for that game in doubt. 

Davis Bertans, Isaac Bonga and Ian Mahinmi have helped fill in for the rookie, but in a season where development was arguably more important than winning, the Wizards and Hachimura caught a really tough break with this injury. 

In the meantime, Washington will have their hands full with Pascal Siakam and the defending champion Raptors on the road. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Real marquee matchup: Bradley Beal, Wizards need to contain Pascal Siakam, Raptors' three-point shooting

Real marquee matchup: Bradley Beal, Wizards need to contain Pascal Siakam, Raptors' three-point shooting

The two main, overarching reasons why the Toronto Raptors have remained as good as they are even after losing Kawhi Leonard in free agency are their defense and their three-point shooting. The continued development of Pascal Siakam into a budding star has received most of the acclaim, but as a collective, those two areas are what make the Raptors tick.

Toronto is second in the NBA in defensive rating (104.5) and fifth in points allowed (105.6). They also give up the second-lowest field goal percentage (42.6) in the league.

The three-point line, though, is where the focus should be on Friday night as the Wizards battle the Raptors in Toronto (7 pm on NBC Sports Washington) for the second time this season. Because in the Wizards, the Raptors will aim to take advantage of a team that struggles defending the perimeter. Washington is 23rd among NBA teams in opponent three-point percentage (36.5) and 19th in threes allowed (12.1). 

The Wizards will have their hands full with a multitude of Raptors shooters. Siakam knocks down 39.1 percent of his threes on 6.2 attempts per game. Norman Powell is a 40.8 percent three-point shooter, averaging 4.9 attempts.

OG Anunoby shoots 38.1 percent on 3.8 attempts per game. Kyle Lowry attempts 8.9 threes per game and makes 35.3 percent. Fred VanVleet hits 37.2 percent on 6.9 attempts. VanVleet, though, is questionable for the game with a hamstring injury.

Those are five players who are dangerous from three and that's not the end of the list. They also have Marc Gasol making 37 percent of his 3.3 attempts per game. Terence Davis shoots 38.6 percent and Serge Ibaka hits on 37.3 percent. There's also Matt Thomas, who has made 46.5 percent of his threes, albeit in a small sample size.

The Raptors can legitimately form a full rotation of players who make threes. It gives them options for multiple lineups where everyone on the floor can shoot.

The onus will be on the Wizards' guards like Isaiah Thomas, Ish Smith, Bradley Beal and Jordan McRae, but also some of their bigs. Ian Mahinmi and Thomas Bryant may have to trail Gasol and Ibaka to the perimeter. Few teams can create space with matchup problems quite like Toronto can.

The first meeting between these teams resulted in a Wizards loss, back on Dec. 20. And in that game, the Wizards were able to hold the Raptors under their season average in terms of attempts. They took 30 threes when they average 36 per game.

But the Raptors shot 40 percent on those attempts, going 12-for-30. They spread it around in that game, too, with seven different players making at least one.

Three-point defense is always important in today's NBA, but even more than usual against the Raptors. It isn't a strength for the Wizards, but they will have to overcome that to pull out a victory.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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