Oct 30, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) goes to the basket over Utah Jazz point guard John Lucas III (5) during the first half at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

OKC Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Preview: Thunder Face Former Face, Kevin Martin

Oct 30, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) boxes out Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. Oklahoma City won 101-98. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 30, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) boxes out Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. Oklahoma City won 101-98. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday night, the Thunder held on to beat the Utah Jazz, 101-98 to start off their 2013-2014 regular season.  The focus now heads to Minnesota as the Thunder travel a bit Eastward to face Kevin Martin and the Timberwolves.

Timberwolves coming into the game:

Also on Wednesday night, the Timberwolves won a nail bitter in overtime against the Orlando Magic, 120-115. Kevin Love tied the game up with a three with 12.5 seconds to play, and the Timberwolves outscored the Magic 17-12 in the overtime to get the win, and open up their season 1-0. Minnesota’s starters are usually Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin(sigh), Corey Brewer, Kevin Love, and Nikola Pekovic. Off the bench, Rick Adelman uses J.J Barea, Dante Cunningham, and Alexay Shved. Against the Magic, Love went for 31 points and 17 rebounds. Let’s sure hope that doesn’t happen tonight.

What to look for:

-          You can look at the stats from Wednesday night and say, “wow, KD had a sick game with 42 points.” But really, he wasn’t all too great. He shot 9-for-24 from the field and basically got every call you could imagine as got 22 of his 42 points from line. I’m intrigued to see if Durant can shoot the ball at a higher percentage, and if he could get others more involved as he only had one assist two nights ago.

-          Serge Ibaka was almost invisible on the offensive end of the floor the other night. He shot an atrocious 4-for-15 from the floor and just kept bombing away jumpers that wouldn’t fall. Hopefully he can get back on track tonight.

-          Rotations. Scott Brooks went 10 deep against the Jazz, even playing Perry Jones III. Let’s see if he continues that trend tonight.

Notes and Quotes:

Scott Brooks on the win against the Jazz: “Our guys battled. We played much better defensively the last three quarters. I like what we did. We had a lot of good things out there but also had a lot of things we can watch tomorrow and get better and work on them for the next day.”

Note: Anyone else excited for the Jeremy Lamb vs. Kevin Martin match-up?

Bold Prediction:  Oklahoma City should take this one easy. I also said that heading into the Utah game, and the Thunder barley won that one. But, if the Thunder can play well defensively, especially on Love and Martin, they should be able to win by double-digits. Expect another 30+ game for Durant, folks.

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves Oklahoma City Thunder

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