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Timberwolves Vs. Thunder Preview: Minnesota Looking For Win Without Nikola Pekovic

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus.

Mar 21, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE
Mar 21, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE

The Minnesota Timberwolves are about to close out a very tough seven-game road trip with a game on Friday night. Unfortunately, the game is against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Timberwolves are without Nikola Pekovic, their starting center. They've picked up just two wins on the trip, over Phoenix and Golden State, with losses dished out by Utah, Sacramento, the Lakers and, in their most recent outing, the San Antonio Spurs.

That game was a 116-100 loss, in which they were outrebounded by a 56-41 margin, without Darko Milicic being in shape to help the team and Kevin Love having to make the start at center. Love did play well though, with his league-best 40th double-double - 17 points and 12 rebounds. It'll likely be more of the same against the Thunder, but they're a much tougher team than San Antonio.

Well, they usually are - but they won their last outing, which according to the trend is not a good thing. They've alternated wins and losses for the last nine games, not winning any consecutive for two weeks. But they did look great in their last outing, a 114-91 domination of the Los Angeles Clippers. Prior to that, it was a narrow 97-90 loss at the hands of the Utah Jazz.

But the Thunder are sitting at 35-12, atop the Western Conference while sporting a stellar 20-4 record at home. The Timberwolves, on the flip-side, are 23-25 at all, ever-hovering near that .500 mark. Unfortunately, they're just 11-13 on the road, so this should be a tough one. The game is set for 8:00 p.m. eastern on Friday.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.