Minnesota Weather Greets T-Wolves in OKC
So I guess the Minnesota Timberwolves are feeling right at home this morning. They flew in from the frozen tundra of the north woods to the frozen tundra of the shortgrass overnight.
The T-Wolves beat the Lakers in Minneapolis last night 109-99 with former Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin tying a season-high with 32 points.
Kevin Love added 31 and 17 rebounds.
The Thunder will have their work cut out for them trying to limit the Minnesota inside-outside game but they've proved adept at doing that in the past. In fact they've won 16 of the last 19 meetings overall between these two teams and eight straight at home over Minnesota.
The Timberwolves will be a bit short-handed tonight also, starting center Nikola Pekovic will be out tonight with a sore ankle. Kevin LOve crashed to the court last night and banged his hip and his head, after the game last night, Love told reporters he was fine but the T-Wolves medical staff will re-evaluate him later today.
The Thunder come in having won 11 of their last 12 games and their 39-11 record is the best its ever been after 50 games in the Oklahoma City era.
The Thunder offense hasn't been as impressive in the last two games (a win and a loss) as it was during their 10 game winning streak when OKC was overaging 110 points game.
The defense though has been suffocating and Monday night against Memphis the Thunder held the Grizzlies to just 77 points, the fewest that team had scored all season.
Regardless, Thunder fans have to be thrilled at one the team has been able to accomplish without the services of star point guard Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook has been steadily increasing his workout load and its believed the Thunder are still planning for a Westbrook return to the lineup after the All-Star Break, perhaps as soon as the first game after the break on February 20th at home against the Miami Heat.
No one knows for sure becasue the Thunder aren't talking and neither is Westbrook.
After tonight's game the Thunder will escape the cold for a bit for a quick trip to sunny Orlando for a Friday night game against the Magic before returning home to play the Knicks at noon on Sunday.
Remember our video crew will be at the game tonight so we'll post a pregame video featuring both head coaches before tipoff and we'll have reacftion from inside the Thunder lockerroom after the game.