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Timberwolves host Thunder with sights on 6th straight win

The Minnesota Timberwolves will go for their sixth win in a row when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night in Minneapolis.

Minnesota is coming off a 124-81 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night, which marked the team’s fifth straight win. The Timberwolves have scored at least 124 points in each of those victories, and they have won by double digits in four consecutive games.

Timberwolves veteran Naz Reid said the team is focused as it sits eight games above .500.

“Last year, we’d win and I’d feel like it was the NBA Finals,” Reid said. “This year, we win and it’s, ‘OK, we’re trying to get wins in a row, not just one win then drop two, one win then drop two.’ We’re trying to be consistent this year, and I feel like everybody is all in.”

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City is looking for a bounce-back performance after losing three games in a row. The Thunder will play on short rest after falling 142-115 at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished 14 assists for the Thunder, but his efforts could not stop the defending champions. Lindy Waters III scored a career-high 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting off the bench, and Aleksej Pokusevski added 13 points in a reserve role.

It was a disappointing end to a difficult day for Oklahoma City, which announced season-ending surgeries for Luguentz Dort, Ty Jerome and Mike Muscala earlier in the day. Dort underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, Jerome had sports hernia surgery, and Muscala had an arthroscopic procedure and lateral ligament repair on his right ankle.

Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said the surgeries were clustered because of another sport.

“The physicians that we lean on in those situations are pretty active in sports medicine,” Daigneault said. “They were all at the NFL Combine, which happened to be the last couple weeks. The consultations that all our guys needed to get with those physicians were delayed, and then were all kind of synced up in terms of timing and therefore synced up the surgery time.

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2022-03-09

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