Game #5 Preview | Minnesota Timberwolves

Tip-Off: 7 PM CT

Location: Target Center (Minneapolis, MN)

Television: FSOK, NBATV

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

When faced with the challenge of who would take the shot in a clutch situation, Oklahoma City passed their first test on Sunday. The Thunder trailed by two with 8.1 seconds left when Russell Westbrook drove towards the basket. He dished the ball to a wide open Carmelo Anthony who hit a three with 5.1 seconds to go to put Oklahoma City ahead by one. Then, in a series of unfortunate events, Andrew Wiggins broke free and hit a deep shot at the buzzer to win the game for the Minnesota.

Since Sunday, The Thunder beat the Pacers in convincing fashion on Wednesday, while the Timberwolves have lost two in a row, to the Pacers on Tuesday and the Pistons on Wednesday, both by at least 21 points. Jimmy Butler was absent from both games due to an upper respiratory illness, and he is questionable for tonight’s matchup. Butler put up 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists in the matchup against the Thunder on Sunday, and Minnesota will need him tonight.

Projected Starters


  • PG: Russell Westbrook
  • SG: Andre Roberson
  • SF: Paul George
  • PF: Carmelo Anthony
  • C: Steven Adams


  • PG: Jeff Teague
  • SG: Jimmy Butler
  • SF: Andrew Wiggins
  • PF: Taj Gibson
  • C: Karl Anthony-Towns



  • None


  • Jimmy Butler (upper respiratory illness) is questionable.
  • Justin Patton (foot surgery) is out indefinitely.


  • In nine seasons in Oklahoma City, the Thunder are 28-8 against the Timberwolves (15-3 at home, 13-5 away), including 0-1 this season.
  • The Thunder have lost 2 of the last 3 games, but they have won 13 of the last 16.
  • In nine seasons, The Thunder have won the 4-game regular season series against the Timberwolves 7 times and tied twice.
  • The Thunder and the Timberwolves have never met in the Western Conference Playoffs.
  • Russell Westbrook tied his career-high in minutes with 50 against the Timberwolves on March 23, 2012.
  • Andre Roberson tied his career-high in steals with 5 against the Timberwolves on January 13, 2017.
  • Jeff Teague tied his career-high for steals with 6 last season against the Thunder on November 20, 2016, when playing with the Indiana Pacers.
  • Gorgui Deng set his career-high for points with 25 two seasons ago against the Thunder on March 11, 2016. He also tied his career-high for blocks with 6 two seasons ago against the Thunder on January 12, 2016.
  • Tom Thibodeau is in his first year with the Timberwolves, and he has a 3-10 record against the Thunder during his NBA tenure.

Game Notes

  • The Thunder are 0-1 on the road this season, while the Timberwolves are 1-1 at home.
  • Taj Gibson was with the Thunder for the final 23 games of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs last season.
  • Oklahoma City is ranked 6th in the NBA with a defensive rating of 96.3. Minnesota is ranked last in the league with a defensive rating of 114.0.
  • The Thunder is first in the league in opponent turnovers with 20.5 per game and third in points off turnovers with 24.0.
  • In Oklahoma City’s four games, Minnesota is the only team that has scored over 100 points against the Thunder.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.

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