Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/29/13
The Oklahoma City Thunder are the highest-scoring team in the NBA, but it's defense that has keyed their latest winning streak. Now they'll look to continue their domination of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are in the midst of one of their best offensive stretches of the season. The visiting Thunder go for their 15th win in 16 meetings with the Timberwolves on Friday night. Oklahoma City (53-19) has closed to within 1 12 games of San Antonio for the Western Conference lead thanks in part to its play at the defensive end, as it's held four straight opponents to 90 or fewer points. The Thunder, scoring a league-high 106.2 per game, have only averaged 101.0 during a three-game winning streak. Oklahoma City limited Washington to 32.1 percent shooting in a 103-80 home win Wednesday. The Thunder have given up 84.0 points - 12.8 below their average - and 38.0 percent shooting in the three consecutive victories. The defensive effort has allowed Oklahoma City hold a 42-24 advantage on fast-break points in their past two wins. "When you don't have to take the ball out of the net, you get an opportunity to use your athleticism and get out in transition," coach Scott Brooks said. "Our first three steps can get down to half-court pretty quick and then we put pressure on the defense. It's all about defending. It's all about rebounding and getting out on the break." Brooks' club, one of the league's best on the fast break at 16.9 points per game, has outscored the Timberwolves 70-35 in that category while winning two of three meetings this season. Minnesota ranks near the bottom of the NBA at 14.1 fast-break points allowed per game. The last-place Timberwolves (25-45) gave up 70 second-half points in a 120-117 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. "Sometimes it's not fair because we give 100 percent and sometimes we can't control things," guard Ricky Rubio said. "But we have to improve things that we can control." They haven't been able to control Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook recently. Durant, the NBA leader at 28.2 points per game, has averaged 39.0 and 56.8 percent shooting in his last four trips to Minnesota, while Westbrook has scored 34.0 per contest in his last five overall in the series. With the Wolves coming off a rough performance at the defensive end, this game could prove to be a high-scoring affair. Minnesota, averaging 95.3 points on the season, has scored 117 twice and 105 once in the past four contests. Center Nikola Pekovic, who had 19 points and 16 boards Wednesday, posted three consecutive double-doubles versus Oklahoma City before finishing with five points and two boards in a 127-111 road loss Feb. 22. Minnesota did have a strong defensive effort Dec. 20 when it held the Thunder to 40.2 percent shooting in a 99-93 victory. That snapped a 12-game losing streak and seven-game home skid in the series, but the Thunder have responded by winning the last two meetings by an average of 19.0 points. Oklahoma City has scored 115.2 points per game in its last 11 against the Timberwolves.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker