After getting their first win of a five-game road trip against one of the worst teams in the NBA, the Seattle SuperSonics hope to take advantage of another lowly opponent Friday night when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The SuperSonics (6-17) opened the trip with a 91-88 loss at New Orleans on Sunday before being beaten 123-96 by Chicago two days later to match their most lopsided loss of the season. They responded by shooting a season-high 58.0 percent from the field (47-for-81) in Wednesday's 117-110 win at New York, the worst team in the Atlantic Division.
"We've done it three or four times this year," SuperSonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said, "that we follow a real disappointing game and then the next night in a situation that doesn't make sense we come back and do a good job."
Seattle will try to build on that performance, which was spurred by six players scoring in double digits with Kevin Durant leading the way with 30 points.
The swingman, the second overall selection in June's draft, leads the Sonics with 20.6 points per game.
He has made 53.3 percent of his shots (16-for-30) to total 46 points in the last two games after shooting 33.3 percent from the field in the previous four contests.
"He looks more and more comfortable," Carlesimo said.
Durant hopes to continue getting help from fellow rookie Jeff Green, who shot 7-for-14 from the floor for 17 points against the Knicks. The forward struggled in his previous four games, shooting 37.5 percent (6-for-16) for 4.8 points per game.
Seattle, which concludes the trip at Utah on Saturday, hopes the young stars can take advantage of the similarly rebuilding Timberwolves (3-17), the team with the worst record in the NBA.
The Sonics have taken three consecutive matchups and four of the last five from Minnesota, including a 114-106 victory on March 27 in the last meeting.
The Timberwolves have lost seven of their last eight games by an average of 12.9 points. Their lone win in that span was a surprising 100-93 victory over Pacific Division-leading Phoenix on Saturday.
Minnesota, which is 2-8 at home, failed to capitalize on any momentum created from that upset win and lost its next two games, including Wednesday's 98-94 defeat at Philadelphia.
"That's kind of the story of the season," Timberwolves forward Antoine Walker said.
Walker was better against the 76ers, scoring 14 points after only managing two on 1-for-6 shooting in a 102-88 loss at Washington on Tuesday in the forward's first game since sitting out a pair with an ankle injury.
Al Jefferson, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday, leads the Wolves with 19.9 points per game and 11.1 rebounds. Jefferson has 14 double-doubles through 20 games after getting 10 in his first 20 a season ago with Boston.
Copyright 2007 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited