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Thunder Game Day #81: at Minnesota Timberwolves

Oklahoma City Thunder (46-34, 18-22 away) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (31-49, 20-20 home)
Tuesday, April 11 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Target Center (19,356)

Thunder Game Day #81: at Minnesota Timberwolvesvs. Thunder Digest

TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Dish 412, Cox 2037, HD 722,  Tulsa Cox 1027, Suddenlink 38)
Online Stream: here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: Oklahoma City is a 4-point underdog. O/U is 215½
Notes: Thunder: here | T-Wolves: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • With only two games left in the regular season, this is all but a formality for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  • The Thunder head to the greater north for a showdown with the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 7 p.m.
  • The T-Wolves, despite their bad record are 20-20 at home this season, very formidable.
  • Oklahoma City is 2-1 vs. Minnesota this season.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s game is on NBATV

WIN OVER NUGGETS BREAKDOWN

  • Recap
  • Oklahoma City trailed by 14 midway through the fourth quarter, but Oklahoma City closed the game on a 13-2 run, capped by a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Russell Westbrook, to come away with the victory.
  • In the game, Westbrook tallied his 42nd triple-double of the season, giving him the NBA record for most triple-doubles in a single season. It was his third 50-point triple-double, most in the NBA this season.
  • Steven Adams contributed his second consecutive double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, giving him a single-season career-high 16 double-doubles.
  • Enes Kanter tallied 15 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.
  • The Thunder scored 20 second-chance points to the Nuggets’ four. Meanwhile OKC outrebounded the Nuggets 54-38.

SCOUTING THE T-WOLVES

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves are 31-49 on the season, 13th in the Western Conference
  • Minnesota is 3-7 in their last 10 games.
  • The T-Wolves have lost four straight games, including a 110-109 loss to the Lakers on Sunday.
  • The Thunder is 26-7 versus the Timberwolves during the Oklahoma City era.
  • Oklahoma City is 11-5 all-time at the Target Center, including five of the last six.
  • The Thunder are 12-2 in their last 14 vs. Minnesota.
  • In their previous meeting, the T-Wolves beat Oklahoma City 96-86 on Jan. 13.
  • Nemanja Bjelica (foot) is out for the season.
  • Zach LaVine (knee) is out for the season.
  • Nikola Pekovic (ankle) is out for the season.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Minnesota came on April 15, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 138-113 (25-point margin of victory). Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (42 points) vs. Minnesota occurred during an 87-129 loss on Jan. 7, 2009.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIP-DUBS

  • Russell Westbrook has 79 career triple-doubles, that’s for fourth all-time.
  • 23 of the 79 are against Houston, Orlando, Washington, Minnesota, and Philadelphia. He has four against each team.
  • Westbrook has recorded five of his 42 triple doubles vs Minnesota in his career.
  • Westbrook is fourth all-time in triple-doubles.

ALL-TIME TRIPLE-DOUBLE LIST

Rank Name Triple-doubles
1 Oscar Robertson 181
2 Magic Johnson 138
3 Jason Kidd 108
4 Russell Westbrook 79

INJURY REPORT

  • Alex Abrines (left knee sprain) is a game-time decision..
  • Doug McDermott (knee) is out.
  • Russell Westbrook (rest) is out.
  • Taj Gibson (rest) is out.
  • Andre Roberson (rest) is out.

SIX SEED FOR OKLAHOMA CITY

  • With the Los Angeles Clippers defeating the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder have clinched the six seed in the Western Conference.
  • Oklahoma City has now reached the playoffs six out of the last eight years.
  • This is the first time the Thunder have been a six seed since coming to Oklahoma City. They will face the Houston Rockets in the opening round.

STILL GOOD ODDS

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the eleventh best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the sixth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Jazz, Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

NEXT UP

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder will wrap up the regular season with the Denver Nuggets tomorrow night.
  • Denver is 38-42 on the season, ninth in the West.
  • The Nuggets have been eliminated from the postseason.
  • Denver is only 5-5 in their last 10 games.
  • The Thunder are 3-0 vs. Denver this season.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Be Aggressive

The length of Minnesota provides some extra protection the Thunder are aware of. However, with this length comes the inexperience and youth of a team that has nine key players with three or less years of experience. Attack and be aggressive. Don’t let this team get to the foul line a lot and use it to Oklahoma City’s advantage and get to the charity stripe a lot.

Force turnovers

Minnesota turns it over more than most teams in the league at 15 turns a contest. Oklahoma City needs to attack and be aggressive, forcing the youth of Minnesota to be their Achilles heel. Oklahoma City has been able to do that in the clutch, forcing more turnovers than any team in the association.

Fast break

The Denver Nuggets couldn’t slow down Westbrook and he made them pay by having a great game. The Thunder then in turn had a plethora of fast break points. Oklahoma city needs to do that tonight against the T-wolves. Keep them on their toes. Look as Oklahoma City will try to getting out on the run and capitalizing on the fast break.

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