Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Tip-off: Friday, February 22, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
The last time the Oklahoma City Thunder lost four straight regular-season games it was the first season that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook played together, according to what YouWager experts recall.
Tonight, Oklahoma City will try to avoid that from happening again when they host a Minnesota Timberwolves team they have beaten in 13 of the last 14 meetings.
The Thunder (39-15) are enduring their longest slide of the season after falling 122-119 versus the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Oklahoma City allowed former teammate James Harden to score 46 points and yielded 47.8 percent shooting.
The Thunder’s fans know quite well that their team is allowing opponents to shoot 47.6 percent in this slide. Oklahoma has Durant’s triple-double versus Houston as well as 28 points apiece from Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha. Westbrook also had 10 rebounds and eight assists, although he added seven turnovers. Their last four-game losing streak in the regular season came in 2008-09, when Westbrook was a rookie and Durant was in his second season.
Oklahoma City has won 16 straight home games versus Western Conference rivals and their defense would be energized by the return of starting center Kendrick Perkins, listed as day to day after sitting out Wednesday with a sprained right knee.
The Timberwolves (20-31) used a dominant performance by Pekovic to come out victorious with a 94-87 at home over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Pekovic had 27 points and matched a career high with 18 rebounds for his sixth double-double in his last seven games.
Pekovic had 24 points and 10 boards to assist the Wolves end a 12-game losing streak versus the Thunder with a 99-93 victory Dec. 20. Durant and Westbrook combined for 49 points as Oklahoma City evened the season series with their sixth straight home win over Minnesota, 106-84 on Jan. 9.
The Timberwolves have limited Minnesota to 43.6 percent shooting this season, but that kind of defense has not been the case in recent games.