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Minnesota at Oklahoma City

Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena
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The Oklahoma City Thunder have not lost four straight regular-season games since the first season that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook joined forces.

The Thunder will try to avoid such a skid Friday night when they host a Minnesota Timberwolves team they have beaten in 13 of the last 14 meetings.

Oklahoma City (39-15) is enduring its longest slide of the season after falling 122-119 at Houston on Wednesday. The Thunder allowed former teammate James Harden to score 46 points and yielded 47.8 percent shooting.

"As a team, we gave up too many points, 66 points in the second half is not us, it's not what we pride ourselves on," coach Scott Brooks said. "We have to regroup and figure it out defensively."

It's part of a worrying trend for the Thunder, who are allowing opponents to shoot 47.6 percent in this slide. They wasted Durant's triple-double against the Rockets as well as 28 points apiece from Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha. Westbrook also had 10 rebounds and eight assists, although he added seven turnovers.

"None of those guys are going to feel good about having a good offensive game when we lose," Brooks said.

Oklahoma City's last four-game losing streak in the regular season came in 2008-09, when Westbrook was a rookie and Durant was in his second season.

The Thunder have won 16 straight home games against Western Conference foes and their defense would be boosted by the return of starting center Kendrick Perkins, listed as day to day after sitting out Wednesday with a sprained right knee.

Having Perkins in the lineup would help to contain Nikola Pekovic, who is averaging 18.3 points and 11.0 rebounds in three career starts against the Thunder.

Minnesota (20-31) used a dominant performance by Pekovic to win 94-87 at home over Philadelphia on Wednesday. Pekovic had 27 points and matched a career high with 18 rebounds for his sixth double-double in his last seven games.

"I was just trying to do my job to help my team to win," Pekovic said. "Everybody needs to step up with the rebounds and everything, so I was really trying to do that tonight."

Pekovic had 24 points and 10 boards to help Minnesota end a 12-game losing streak to Oklahoma City with a 99-93 win Dec. 20. Durant and Westbrook combined for 49 points as the Thunder evened the season series with their sixth straight home victory over the Wolves, 106-84 on Jan. 9.

Oklahoma City has limited Minnesota to 43.6 percent shooting this season, but that kind of defense has been absent lately.

"Friday is a game where we're going to have to get better defensively," said Brooks, whose club is opening a three-game homestand.

Oklahoma City will see an improving Derrick Williams, who has totaled 41 points and 24 boards in his last two games. The second-year forward has 16 points and 12 rebounds against the Thunder.

The Thunder are second in the league with 26.9 free-throw attempts per game and Minnesota is fifth at 25.7.

The Wolves attempted a season-high 44 foul shots against the Sixers, including a career-high 15 by Pekovic.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Minnesota 12 Oklahoma City -12
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Minnesota2nd Northwest 42.6670.54-2Won 3
Oklahoma City5th Northwest 25.28632-5Lost 4

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Injuries
Minnesota
PlayerInjury
K MartinAdductor
Oklahoma City
PlayerInjury
A MorrowKnee
 
Key Players
Kevin<br>Love
Kevin
Love
, PF
34.3 Min. Per Game 39.0 Kevin<br>Durant
Kevin
Durant
, SF
18.3 Pts. Per Game 29.0
2.3 Ast. Per Game 4.5
14.0 Reb. Per Game 7.5
35.2 Field Goal % 51.6
21.7 Three Point % 42.4
70.4 Free Throw % 90.7
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
Minnesota Timberwolves2767.39
Oklahoma City Thunder197.58
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Oct 29 @ Portland 
Dec 23Oklahoma City 
Feb 27 @ Portland 
Apr 13Oklahoma City 
 
Other Games
Det 82 Final
Ind 114
Den 113 Final
Wash 119
NY 98 Final
Tor 100
Chi 105 Final
Char 75
Sac 108 Final
Atl 122
Hou 106 Final
Brook 96
Dal 104 Final
NO 100
Orl 82 Final
Mem 88
Bos 113 Final
Pho 88
SA 101 Final
GS 107
Port 107 Final
LAL 111