NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, February 21st (All times eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (32-21) at Minnesota Timberwolves (13-43), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Kevin Durant has been nearly unstoppable this season and the NBA's second-leading scorer will lead the red-hot Oklahoma City Thunder into the Twin Cities tonight to take on the Northwest rival Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Durant scored seven of his game-high 36 points in overtime in a 121-118 victory over the New York Knicks last night at Madison Square Garden to spoil the debut of Tracy McGrady. Durant, who hit the tying three-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation, became the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 25 points in 27 straight games. Allen Iverson reached the magic number in 27 consecutive contests during his MVP 2000-2001 season. Michael Jordan scored 25-plus points in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season.
"We knew there was going to be a lot of energy in the building with Tracy McGrady coming in," Durant said. "He played phenomenal. He's back. He played well, but I'll take the win."
Russell Westbrook's 31 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds were overshadowed for the Thunder, who have won eight in a row for the first time since a nine- game run early in the 2004-05 campaign. Jeff Green tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds for the victors.
The Thunder have also won four in a row on the road and sport a 16-11 ledger as the guest this season. They are currently fifth in the Western Conference standings thanks to Durant, who is averaging 29.8 points per game. LeBron James is barely ahead with an NBA-leading 29.9 ppg.
Minnesota continued its losing ways with Friday's 100-94 setback versus the Chicago Bulls, its fifth consecutive loss. Corey Brewer had 19 points and Jonny Flynn added 14 points, seven boards and six assists for the Timberwolves, whose recent skid comes on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
"We couldn't make no shots down the stretch, we couldn't even make free throws," said Minnesota forward Ryan Gomes, who along with Al Jefferson finished with 10 points. "They made some baskets and got some good plays and that did it from them. We had opportunities to score, but we didn't take advantage of them."
The T'Wolves are just 9-19 as the host this season.
Oklahoma City defeated Minnesota, 94-92, back on January 20 at the Target Center and has won nine of the last 12 matchups between the clubs.
02/21 10:36:51 ET