Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Thunder

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

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7 p.m., Target Center
Where to Watch: Fox Sports North, NBATV
Where to Listen: 830 WCCO 

The Minnesota Timberwolves return to Target Center on Tuesday night for the final home game of the 2016-17 season, facing the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m.

The Wolves come into the game with a record of 31-49 and are in 13th place in the Western Conference. The Thunder come in at 46-34 overall and are in sixth place in the Western Conference.

A few tidbits entering Tuesday night’s game:

  • It will be a big night for the organization, both on the floor and off, as the Wolves will unveil the franchise’s new logo at halftime.
  • Minnesota is 3-7 in their last 10 games, while Oklahoma City is 6-4 over that span.
  • Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, who set a new NBA record with his 42nd triple-double of the season on Sunday, looks to add to his historic year on Tuesday.

Coming Off Of…

Minnesota is coming off of a 110-109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Andrew Wiggins had 41 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 40 points and 21 rebounds to lead the Wolves. Gorgui Dieng had 12 points and seven rebounds, Shabazz Muhammad had 12 points off the bench and Ricky Rubio added two points, 11 assists and three steals.

Oklahoma City is coming off of a 106-105 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday in Denver.

Westbrook had 50 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the way for the Thunder. Enes Kanter had 15 points and eight rebounds, Steven Adams had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Victor Oladipo, Taj Gibson and Kyle Singler had eight points each. 

Last Matchup

Oklahoma City holds a 2-1 season series advantage over Minnesota this season. The last matchup came on Jan. 13 at Target Center, when the Wolves came away with the 96-86 win.

Towns had 29 points and 17 rebounds, Wiggins had 19 points and six rebounds and Rubio had 14 points, 14 assists, four rebounds and four steals to lead Minnesota. Brandon Rush had 11 points and four rebounds, Nemanja Bjelica had eight points and Muhammad added seven points off the bench.

For Oklahoma City, Westbrook had 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, Kanter had 21 points and eight rebounds, Oladipo had 19 points and five rebounds and Andre Roberson had eight points and five steals. 

Key Matchup: Ricky Rubio vs. Russell Westbrook

One key matchup will come between Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.

Rubio, in his sixth NBA season, is averaging a career-high 11.1 points, a career-best 9.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals this season.

Westbrook is making a very strong case for being the league MVP in his ninth season. Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s record of 41 triple-doubles in a season on Sunday night and joined Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average a triple-double in a year. Westbrook is averaging 31.9 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game this season. 

Injuries

Oklahoma City: Alex Abrines (knee) is questionable. Doug McDermott (knee) is out.

Minnesota: Nemanja Bjelica (foot), Zach LaVine (knee) and Nikola Pekovic (ankle) are out.

Projected Starters

Oklahoma City: PG – Westbrook, SG – Oladipo, SF – Roberson, PF – Gibson, C – Adams

Minnesota: PG – Rubio, SG – Rush, SF – Wiggins, PF – Dieng, C – Towns

 

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