NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 1st (All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0) at Minnesota Timberwolves (1-0), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder will try to remain unbeaten on the young season when they invade Target Center Friday night to take on the 1-0 Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Thunder are also 1-0 after Wednesday's 101-98 triumph over the Utah Jazz, as Durant poured in 42 points and sank 22-of-24 free throws. Durant is without partner in crime Russell Westbrook (knee) and didn't miss a beat.
"I just tried to be aggressive and I thought my teammates put me in a good position to be aggressive," said Durant. "I gotta finish some and-ones and make some more shots."
Thabo Sefolosha and Reggie Jackson scored 14 points apiece for Oklahoma City, which won despite shooting 40.7 percent and received eight points and 10 rebounds from Serge Ibaka. The Thunder had 25 points off turnovers and sank 29 of their 33 foul shots.
Durant is hoping to have the hot hand once again and is averaging 32.8 points on 53.8 percent shooting over his last 16 games against Minnesota.
The Timberwolves have a star of their own in Kevin Love, who recorded 31 points and pulled down 17 rebounds in Wednesday's 120-115 overtime win versus the Orlando Magic.
With Minnesota down 103-100 with 12.5 seconds left in regulation, Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman called a sideline out-of-bounds play for Love, who came off a pick from Nikola Pekovic and buried the three to tie the game.
"Kevin made a big shot to take it into overtime and then in overtime I thought we did a good job of defending them," Adelman said. "Let's take the win. We just need to learn from it."
The Timberwolves had a 17-12 edge in the extra period and saw seven players post 10 or more points.
Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer had 23 and 16 points, respectively, while Ricky Rubio chipped in 13 points and 11 assists for the Wolves, who posted 18 points off 18 Orlando miscues and shot 42 percent for the game.
Minnesota and Oklahoma City split four meetings a season ago, but the Thunder own a 14-2 mark in the last 16 contests in this series. The Thunder are 10-3 in their previous 13 trips to the Twin Cities.
11/01 10:27:18 ET