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OKC Thunder-Minnesota game promises to be entertaining

by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 4, 2014

You never know what you might see whenever the Thunder takes on Minnesota.

Pretty much all that's promised — one way or another — is an entertaining affair.

“It seems like it's always that way,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “With Memphis being a physical game, it's always that way with Minnesota being just an exciting game, a close game; some terrific performances individually by players.”

Wednesday's game is the fourth and final meeting between the Northwest Division rivals. The Thunder owns a 2-1 lead in the season series. The lone loss was a 19-point loss at Minnesota in the second game of the year on Nov. 11. Wolves All-Star forward Kevin Love scored a game-high 24 points with 12 rebounds in that contest.

Kevin Durant responded with the first of his two triple-doubles this season in the second meeting, a 10-point Thunder win. And Durant dumped in 48 points in a come-from-behind four-point win at Minnesota on Jan. 4.

The Wolves rank third in scoring at 105.9 points per game, while the Thunder ranks fifth at 105 per game.

“They have really good players,” Brooks said of the Wolves. “They're a really good basketball team; well-coached. But we know we're going to have to defend them because they have a skilled group of offensive talent that they put on the floor every night.”


Minnesota is without starting center Nikola Pekovic, who has missed the past four games after sustaining an ankle injury on Jan. 27 at Chicago.

Pekovic is averaging 18 points and 9.1 rebounds this year and has been even better against the Thunder, with averages if 22.7 points and 10.3 rebounds.

“It does definitely change a little bit of what we do,” Brooks said. “He's one of the best low-post big guys in the league. He has the strength, he has the touch and he just has the experience to score down low. And our bigs do a good job of making him take tough shots. But not having him, I'm sure they've made some adjustments. But we still have to make sure we guard all their players and not let one guy come in and be a wild card.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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