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News » Timberwolves-Thunder Preview 2008-11-27

Timberwolves-Thunder Preview 2008-11-27

Timberwolves-Thunder Preview 2008-11-27
The first win in their new city had a chance to give the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise some momentum. Since then, though, they've had a run of losing that's only reminded them of their past.

The Thunder, one shy of equaling the longest losing streak in franchise history, face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night in a matchup with the only team they've been able to beat.

Oklahoma's first win since relocating from Seattle came in front of its home crowd, beating Minnesota 88-85 on Nov. 2.

The Thunder (1-15) got 18 points from Kevin Durant, and looked as if their defense could be a strength. It was the second straight opponent Oklahoma held under 90 points.

But the Thunder have since lost 13 straight, giving up 105.3 points per game in that span. The franchise record for consecutive losses was a 14-game skid by Seattle from Dec. 31-Jan. 27.

The Timberwolves (3-10), though, might be one of the few teams against which the Thunder match up well. Oklahoma City allowed its fewest points of the season in that game and outrebounded Minnesota 50-38.

The Thunder, however, were outrebounded 46-28 and gave up a season-high point total in their most recent game, losing 117-82 to Cleveland on Wednesday night. Unlike Tuesday night, when Oklahoma City led Phoenix by 16 points late in the third quarter before losing down the stretch, they were never competitive versus the Cavaliers.

That defeat was the Thunder's third in as many games under interim coach Scott Brooks, who took over when P.J. Carlesimo was fired Nov. 22.

Durant, who averaged 29.5 points in his previous two games, was held to 13 on 6-for-16 shooting. He's averaging 22.3 points in his last three games against Minnesota.

Al Jefferson, who continues to carry the Timberwolves, had 24 points and 13 rebounds against Oklahoma City. He had 28 points and 17 rebounds, including a franchise-record 12 on the offensive end, on Wednesday night but Minnesota lost 110-102 to Phoenix.

The Timberwolves shot 42.4 percent, one game after hitting a season-best 53.0 percent in an impressive 26-point win at Detroit, and fell to 0-10 when getting held under 45.0 percent.

"We just have to play through it," Timberwolves guard Randy Foye said. "No matter how many shots you miss, you have to play through it. If you keep playing defense, you can get a score that can spark you on offense. But you can't wait for it. You have to go make it happen."

Foye is coming off his second straight strong game. He had 17 points and five assists against the Suns, after a 23-point, 14-assist effort versus the Pistons.

Foye, though, was held to a season-low two points against Oklahoma City, missing all 10 of his shots from the floor.

Rashad McCants also struggled in that game, scoring four points in 19 minutes. He played Wednesday after missing 2 1/2 games with back spasms, totaling three points and five turnovers in his first eight minutes before hitting four 3-pointers in garbage time.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 27, 2008


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