• Minnesota announced that forward Josh Howard has been waived. He had missed the past three games after apparently hyper-extending his right knee on December 14th in New Orleans. But the team found out today that his ACL was torn. Waiving him opens up a roster spot on a team that has been plagued by injuries.   “I feel really bad for him,” said Wolves coach Rick Adelman.  “He worked so hard to get himself back and he did a good job for us.  We didn’t know anything about this until this morning, so it was a real shock.”
  • The Thunder rank 1st in the league in scoring with 105.6 ppg and 2nd in field goal percentage at 49.5 percent. They also come into tonight’s game owners of the best record in the league at 21-4 and are attempting to extend their winning streak to 13. If they get it, OKC will also extend its streak against Minnesota to 13 games.
  • Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are the only teammates averaging at least 20 points per game. Last season, they feasted on Minnesota’s defense, averaging 38.7 and 36 ppg, respectively. On March 23 of last year, they became the first teammates to each score 40 points in a game in their 149-140 double-overtime win at home.
  • Oklahoma City has used only one starting lineup this season, while Minnesota has used nine. “We’ve been very fortunate and hopefully that continues,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “[Minnesota] is a much better team with all [their] healthy players. I give coach Adelman a lot of credit. He had a banged up team to start the season, but they still hung in there and they’re right around .500 or above, and when they get healthy they are going to be a good team.”
  • Ricky Rubio returns to the lineup tonight after sitting out Tuesday’s game against Miami. It was the second game of a back-to-back and Minnesota is still watching Rubio’s minutes closely.

Jim Beilby

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