The Timberwolves will look to avoid their seventh consecutive loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder when the teams meet Wednesday night at the Target Center.
Love continued his impressive stretch by recording his seventh consecutive double-double - and 16th of the season - during Monday night’s 121-114 loss at New York.
Love scored a season-high 33 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, and he’s averaging 25.0 points and 18.3 boards over his longest double-double run since posting 11 straight Dec. 12-Jan. 1.
“He’s putting up numbers like old school numbers. Even before my time kind of numbers,” Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis said. “They’re just fairly ridiculous and we don’t do a whole lot for him, he’s just doing it all out there on his own.”
Love, whose current streak started with a 24-point, 17-rebound performance in a 117-107 loss at Oklahoma City on Nov. 22, connected on his first three 3-point attempts against the Knicks, setting a franchise record with eight consecutive made 3s after going 5 of 5 in a 129-95 win over Cleveland on Saturday.
“This was a competitive game throughout,” Love said after Monday’s loss. “It was fun to play in. It just wasn’t fun when the final buzzer went off.”
Minnesota (5-16) fell for the seventh time in eight games and could be facing more hard times without one of its best defensive players.
Darko Milicic(notes) scored 10 points and recorded at least one block for the 17th consecutive game before having to leave with an injured right quadriceps Monday. His status for this game is unknown.
“He has such a high basketball IQ that he really solidifies us as a ball club,” Rambis said of Milicic, who scored 21 points against Oklahoma City last month.
The Thunder (14-8) are coming off a 99-90 loss in Chicago on Monday night after shooting a season-worst 35.4 percent from the field.
“We weren’t playing well and I tried to make adjustments, trying to create some more energy,” coach Scott Brooks said. “It was my decision. I don’t know if it worked or not, but it was important that we figure out how to play better.”
Oklahoma City has been outrebounded by an average of 10.2 over its last five losses and will likely need to step up its effort on the glass against the Timberwolves, who are registering an NBA-best 46.7 rebounds per game.
Durant, who ranks among the league’s leading scorers with an average of 27.4 points, is shooting 36.4 percent from the floor - 21.4 percent from long distance - on the road compared to 45.9 at home.
The 2008 rookie of the year has averaged 31.0 points while connecting on 52.6 of his field goal attempts over his last three visits to Minnesota.