TIMBERWOLVES AT THUNDER, 8 P.M. ET

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  • Minnesota will be without starting center Nikola Pekovic.  He left the team’s road trip to return to Minneapolis for treatment on his sore ankles. Forward Kevin Love will likely start in his place instead of backup center Darko Milicic, who remains in head coach Rick Adelman’s dog house. Forward Michael Beasley is not expected to play after spraining his big toe a few games ago. He has been able to play only sparingly and now believes rest is best. Point guard Ricky Rubio had knee surgery Wednesday and is out for the season. Since Rubio has been out the Timberwolves are just 2-5. “You learn a lot about people on a trip like this,” Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said just before the game, “and you worry about young players giving in.”
  • Oklahoma City will be without backup shooting guard Daequan Cook, he has a sprained knee and is expected to miss two to three weeks. Shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha has been slowly working back up to his normal amount of minutes since returning from a foot injury.
  • The NBA has ruled that Derek Fisher’s consecutive games played streak ended Sunday at 537 games. Fisher was still under contract to the Rockets at the time before being bought out and signing with the Thunder. Fisher played almost 20 minutes Wednesday for OKC and is expected to do the same tonight. With Fisher’s streak ending and Charlotte benching Boris Diaw after he’d played in 384 straight games, Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook now has the longest active games played streak in the league at 293. Westbrook has never missed a game for the Thunder.
  • The Thunder has won 10 straight against Minnesota, including this season’s only meeting, 104-100 back on December 26th in Minneapolis.

– Randy Renner

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