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Timberwolves Look to Roar Against Oklahoma

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Two of the top teams in the Western Conference will square off on Tuesday when the Minnesota Timberwolves travel to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Timberwolves are a half-game behind the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBAat 22-6. The Thunder have continued the excellence they showed at the end of last season to reach the NBA play-in round and have an 18-9 record heading into this matchup.

Minnesota Continues to Sweep

The Timberwolves have started the season hungry, playing tenacious defense and leading the Western Conference heading into the New Year. On Saturday night, before having two days off for the holidays, visiting Minnesota defeated the Sacramento Kings at home 110-98.

Anthony Edwards scored 34 points along with 10 assists, and center Rudy Gobert contributed 21 points and 17 rebounds, leading the Wolves to a 10-5 record on the road this season.

Despite the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns, out of the game due to knee discomfort, the Wolves pulled off the victory.

The Timberwolves come into this Western Conference showdown with the 18th-ranked offense in the NBA.

They are eighth in field goal shooting percentage and ninth in 3-point field goal shooting percentage. The Wolves are 20th in 3-point field goal shooting per game this season. Defensively, Minnesota has been dominant.

They are also first in the NBA in points allowed defense. They are second in opponent field goal shooting percentage and third in three-point defense. The Wolves are 15th in total rebounds this season and 24th in turnovers per game.

The Thunder is not far behind

The Thunder continue to keep pace with the top teams in the Western Conference this season. They currently have an 18-9 record on the season and sit in third place in the conference heading into 2024.

OKC has had to be so good with the top two teams, Minnesota and the Denver Nuggets, also coming out of the Northwest Division.

On Saturday night at home, the Thunder were defeated by a Los Angeles Lakers team that pitched with precision, 129-120. Oklahoma was led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's 34 points on the night.

Jalen Williams contributed 28 and rookie Chet Holmgren had 19 points and 10 rebounds. The loss ended a streak of three straight wins for the Thunder.

Oklahoma City will hope to get back on the winning track and gain ground on the Timberwolves at the same time on Tuesday night. The team comes into this matchup with the fifth-ranked offense in the NBA. They are third in field goal shooting percentage and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage.

Oklahoma ranks 14th in 3-point field goal shooting per game this season. Defensively, they have been better than advertised despite the team's youth.

OKC's are also 14th in points allowed defense this season. However, they are third in opponent field goal shooting percentage and 11th in three-point defense.

The Thunder is just 26th in total rebounds so far this season. The team has done a much better job protecting the ball, ranking fourth in turnovers per game.

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