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Preview 5 of 82: Thunder & Timberwolves

Preview 5 of 82: Thunder & Timberwolves

TV: NBA TV / Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC / 97.1 FM Tulsa)

Game Notes: Thunder / Timberwolves

For the second time in less than a week, the Oklahoma City Thunder (2-2) will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves (2-3) in a Northwest Division battle. Round one went to the Timberwolves last Sunday night, with Andrew Wiggins banking in a game-winner as time expired. The Thunder now visits the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a 7 PM CT showdown on NBA TV and Fox Sports Oklahoma.

Coming off a win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, the Thunder rests at .500 and has yet to see the full scope of what its revamped roster can do. Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony combined for 56 points and 20 rebounds versus the Pacers, but Paul George recorded just 10 points and fouled out after 19 minutes. Big man Steven Adams has been a revelation, but there’s yet to be a revealing moment of clarity for OKC. Perhaps that will come tonight against a Minnesota team that has lost two straight, but appears as though they’ll get Jimmy Butler back after a two game absence.

Injury Report


  • N/A


  • Jimmy Butler: Probable — Respiratory Infection
  • Justin Patton: Out — Foot

Starting Five




Four Factors:


Previous H2H Results


  • Karl Anthony-Towns put up 27 points and 12 rebounds on 11/17 shooting against the Thunder on Sunday night. Steven Adams’ ability to defend him — particularly in pick-and-roll situations — will be paramount in the Thunder’s success.
  • Likewise, Andrew Wiggins lit up the Thunder for 27 points and benefited from Andre Roberson’s odd fourth quarter demotion. Expect Billy D. to keep Roberson on Wiggins when it matters this time around, but then again — you never know. It’s Billy.
  • Russell Westbrook scored 15 points in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s loss to Minnesota, finishing with 31 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds. How he comes out and establishes the tone early will be important, and he has a blueprint on how to do exactly that.
  • Patrick Patterson logged a season-high 17 minutes on Sunday, and scored his first bucket in a Thunder uniform. He was entirely ineffective in just 6 minutes last time around against Minnesota, so it’s worth watching his impact with greater opportunity.
  • The Timberwolves out-rebounded OKC 45-36 in the first game, and scored 23 points of Thunder turnovers. Two areas of emphasis for OKC tonight.

Steven Adams on getting another shot at the Timberwolves. Via Erik Horne.

Paul George discusses his lack of rhythm. Says he’s “really, really anxious” to get going. Via Royce Young.