Thibodeau says Butler suiting up against the Warriors

NBA.com Global on Nov 03, 2018 06:33 AM
Thibodeau says Butler suiting up against the Warriors
FILE - SHENZHEN, CHINA - OCTOBER 05: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves dribbles the ball up court against the Golden State Warriors as part of 2017 NBA Global Games China on October 5, 2017 in Shenzhen, China at Shenzhen Universidade. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

The Minnesota Timberwolves will have their top scorer back in the mix tonight against the Western Conference-leading Golden State Warriors.

Via Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters today that Butler will play after missing the Wolves' last game for "precautionary rest." Point guard Jeff Teague, who missed Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) win against the Utah Jazz, is still out with a sore left knee. Additionally, backup point guard Tyus Jones will return to the lineup after a one-game absence.

Per the Wolves' game notes, Butler is listed in the starting lineup for tonight's game.

Before the game against Utah, Thibodeau told reporters at the morning shootaround that Butler's absence was not related to his trade request.

"He missed all of training camp, basically, so he has just general soreness," Thibodeau said.

Butler told ESPN he planned to attend the game against the Jazz at the Target Center and travel with the team on its five-game road trip that begins Friday (Saturday, PHL time) at Golden State. Butler told the network he would play against the Warriors and disputed speculation that he was sitting out Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) in protest of the lack of action by the Wolves on his desire to be dealt elsewhere.

"Because my body is hurting and I don't want to go out there and risk an injury, people make stuff up?" Butler said.

The Timberwolves are coming off the emotional high of Wednesday night's (Thursday, PHL time) win. In that game, backup guard and former Kia MVP winner Derrick Rose torched the Jazz for a career-best 50 points.

Butler scored 32 points in 37 minutes in Minnesota's win Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) against the Los Angeles Lakers, including all five of his three-point attempts in the fourth quarter. Players didn't practice Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), however, which made the need to sideline the four-time All-Star shooting guard Wednesday peculiar. Butler did not travel with the team to Dallas for the Oct. 20 (Oct. 21, PHL time) game, but that planned absence from a defeat by the Mavericks came after he played the night before in the home opener.

Butler's absence has allowed rookie Josh Okogie to see extended playing time. Okogie, the first-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech, went 6-for-17 against the Lakers for a career-best 17 points. He followed that up with 10 points, four rebounds and and two steals against the Jazz.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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