NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 4th (All times eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (15-61) at Oklahoma City Thunder (47-28), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It wasn't easy but the Oklahoma City Thunder have secured their first playoff berth since the Seattle SuperSonics won the Northwest Division back in 2004-05. Now the Thunder will try for their fourth straight win Easter Sunday versus the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Ford Center.
Oklahoma City punched its ticket to the postseason with Saturday's 121-116 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the finale of a perfect three-game road trip. Kevin Durant went for 23 points and Jeff Green added 22 for the Thunder, who are sixth in the Western Conference, just two games off the jumbled No. 2 spot in the overall standings.
"That was a good win. It's [Dallas] not an easy place to play," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "I'm proud of the work they've put in. We've made the playoffs, and that was one of our goals."
Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison scored 17 points apiece in the win.
The Thunder are back at home, where they own a 24-13 mark in 2009-10.
Meanwhile, lowly Minnesota will try to put the brakes on a nine-game road losing streak tonight against Oklahoma City. After ending a lengthy 16-game slide with a victory over Sacramento on Wednesday, the Timberwolves landed back in the loss column with last night's 97-84 loss versus Miami in the finale of a three-game homestand.
Al Jefferson and Ramon Sessions each scored 12 points for the T'Wolves, who fell for the 17th time in 18 games.
"They came out and hit some big shots," Minnesota's Kevin Love said. "We hit a drought, and Wade kind of went off and sealed the game for them."
The Wolves are 5-33 away from the Twin Cities this season.
Oklahoma City has won the first three matchups with Minnesota this season and is aiming for a series sweep tonight. It is unbeaten in the past four encounters overall with the T'Wolves, who have lost 13 of 18 road games in this series.
04/04 10:34:25 ET