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Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Thunder
Wolves vs. Thunder | 7 p.m., Target Center
Where To Watch: Fox Sports North
Where to Listen 830 WCCO
Here we are. The final game of the season.
And while the Wolves sit at just 16-65 overall (last in the NBA), this is a meaningful game as far as the playoffs go.
Oklahoma City comes into this game with a 44-37 record, tied with the New Orleans Pelicans for the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference. One problem for OKC: New Orleans holds the tiebreaker.
No matter what happens, Oklahoma City needs to beat the Timberwolves on Wednesday night for a shot to make the playoffs. Then the Thunder will need the San Antonio Spurs (also fighting for seeding) to beat the Pelicans in New Orleans.
It will definitely be an exciting final night in the NBA for fans.
The Wolves are 0-3 against the Thunder this season with the last game coming on March 13 in Oklahoma City. The Thunder won 113-99 behind 29 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds from Russell Westbrook. Big man Enes Kanter added 23 points and 15 boards. Anthony Morrow led the second unit with 13 points, while Dion Waiters and Mitch McGary scored 12 points each.
Gorgui Dieng led Minnesota with 21 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Rookie Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points, but shot just 4-of-13 from the field. Justin Hamilton led the second unit with 17 points and 10 boards, while veteran Kevin Martin scored 14 points.
THIS WEEK’S RESULTS
The Wolves have dropped 11 straight. They last played on Monday night at the Target Center against the Pelicans. Minnesota lost 100-88 despite 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds from rookie Zach LaVine. Chase Budinger had a nice game before spraining his left ankle, finishing with 18 points and eight rebounds. Wiggins scored 15 points, while Robbie Hummel had his second double-double of the season, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Thunder have won two of their last three games. The last came on Monday night at home against the Portland Trail Blazers. OKC won 101-90 behind 36 points and 11 rebounds from Westbrook. Kanter was fantastic as well, finishing with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Waiters shot just 4-of-21, but managed to finish with 13 points and seven rebounds. Morrow led the second unit with 11 points and eight rebounds.
KEY MATCHUP: ZACH LAVINE VS. RUSSELL WESTBROOK
Our thoughts and prayers are with LaVine in this one. Giving what’s at stake, you better believe Westbrook will be going 200 percent.
Westbrook has had an incredible season, mostly out of necessity for the Thunder. He’s averaging a league-best 28 points per game to go with career-highs of 8.6 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game. If he hadn’t missed 15 games this season, he’d probably be considered more for the MVP award.
In three games against the Wolves this season, Westbrook has averaged 27 points, 7.7 assists and 6.7 rebounds.
LaVine has played exceptionally well since the All-Star Break, averaging 14 points, 3.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. For the season, he’s averaging 10 points, 3.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds. He’ll have his hands full defensively trying to guard Westbrook, especially with very few healthy bodies to help him out.
In three games against the Thunder, LaVine is averaging 10.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and three rebounds.
Thunder: Perry Jones (knee), Serge Ibaka (knee) and Kevin Durant (foot) are out.
Wolves: Gorgui Dieng (concussion-like symptoms), Shabazz Muhammad (finger), Gary Neal (ankle), Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and Ricky Rubio (ankle) are out. Kevin Garnett (knee) and Chase Budinger (ankle) are doubtful. Kevin Martin (illness) and Anthony Bennett (ankle) are questionable. Justin Hamilton (hamstring) is probable.
Thunder: PG – Westbrook, SG – Waiters, SF – Roberson, PF – Kanter, C - Adams
Wolves: PG – LaVine, SG – Wiggins, SF – Budinger, PF – Payne, C - Hamilton