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Despite Solid Night From Towns, Wolves Fall To Thunder

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Timberwolves had a disappointing night on Friday against the Oklahoma City in a 113-101 loss at Target Center.

The good news is that it’s only preseason, but this team needs gelling with so many new faces and now have just two preseason games to figure it out.

"We have to caution that if we say, if that’s our approach, it’s just the preseason, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. We’re going to open up in 12 days. There’s a lot of work to do,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said.

The loss puts Minnesota at 1-2 in preseason play.

Center Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wolves with 23 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Without Jimmy Butler, Towns needs to be aggressive offensively, even when it might be uncomfortable. Jeff Teague added 17 points, shooting 5-for-9 from the field, 1-for-2 from the 3-point line and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Derrick Rose finished with 11 points, while Gorgui Dieng added 10.

OKC was without Russell Westbrook (knee), but Paul George made up for that, finishing with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists in 26 minutes. Steven Adams added 14 points and 13 boards in 25 minutes. Jerami Grant, Nerlens Noel and Dennis Schroder all finished with 12 points. Alex Abrines rounded things out with 10 points.

Positives for the Wolves is that after being outscored 31-20 in the first quarter, they stayed afloat, only being outscored by one the rest of the game. But that’s just a deficit you can’t put yourself in. It adds too much pressure for the rest of the game.

Rookie Keita Bates-Diop finished with six points and four rebounds off the bench. Nothing wild, but he continues to make plays like this which has to get you excited. The way he plays just seems to flow nicely. He’s got a great feel for the game.

The Wolves are back at it on Sunday against the Bucks. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. It’s considered a home game for the Wolves.

“I feel that we have great practices, great players, great attitude in the locker room we just have to go execute on the court," Towns said. "While it’s preseason, it’s important to show glimpses that we’re doing what we’re doing in practices and we have great practices. It’s a thing we have to address you know and get ready for the next two games.”