The Minnesota Timberwolves wouldn't be in last place if they could win games against the Seattle SuperSonics this season.
The Timberwolves look to end a six-game losing streak against the SuperSonics when the two worst teams in the Northwest Division meet Friday night.
Both teams are in major rebuilding modes, with Seattle (16-49) a game ahead of Minnesota (14-49) as they look forward to the draft lottery and improving through free agency.
The SuperSonics are 3-0 against the Timberwolves this season and are seeking their first season sweep since 1996-97. Minnesota's last win in the series was a 101-82 victory on Dec. 29, 2006.
While Seattle looks to build around rookie Kevin Durant and Minnesota around fourth-year forward Al Jefferson, the Sonics' success against the Wolves this season has perhaps been keyed by Chris Wilcox. The veteran forward has notched three of his team-high 16 double-doubles against Minnesota, averaging 17.0 points and 12.3 rebounds in those contests.
Wilcox, who has season averages of 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds, gets one final chance to try to help slow down Jefferson. Minnesota's best player is averaging 23.0 points and 12.0 rebounds against Seattle in the three games.
The Wolves are tied with Memphis with a league-low four road victories, but have won back-to-back road games entering Friday. Their last three-game road win streak came Jan. 1-17, 2007.
Minnesota, however, couldn't make it three in a row overall because of a 103-96 home loss to Portland on Tuesday. Jefferson had 20 points and 10 boards for his 46th double-double - second in the league behind Orlando's Dwight Howard - for the Wolves, who couldn't hold onto a slim lead entering the fourth quarter.
"We're just trying to build," said Minnesota forward Craig Smith, who had 15 points. "Before the season ends, hopefully we can get it."
Jefferson has seven straight double-doubles, one shy of his season-high streak set from Dec. 12-26.
Seattle has lost six straight after ending its seven-game road trip with a 111-82 defeat to league-leading Boston on Wednesday. The Sonics have allowed more than 112 points per game during the skid.
"They're getting ready for the playoffs and everybody knows that," Sonics forward Donyell Marshall said. "We know we're going home, but we have to learn from this."
Durant seems to be bouncing back a bit in March, averaging 20.7 points on 49.0 percent shooting in seven games after averaging 18.1 points and shooting 37.6 percent in February - his lowest marks for any month. He's averaging just 14.7 points on 36.6 percent shooting against the Wolves.
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