vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Target Center
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Today's line: Wolves by 4½
Chris Hine's preview:
Opening bell: This is the final in-season tournament game for the Wolves, who need some help to advance to the eight-team knockout stage. To win their group, they need Golden State to beat Sacramento, then they need to beat Oklahoma City by enough points to win a margin of victory tiebreaker among them, the Kings and Warriors. To earn a wild-card spot, the Wolves would have to beat the Thunder by 38 points to pass Phoenix's margin of victory. In summary, the Wolves' chances of advancing are slim and they will likely play two regular season games Dec. 6 and 8 instead of advancing in the tournament.
Watch him: Thunder center Chet Holmgren. After a foot injury cost the Minnehaha Academy star all of what was supposed to be his rookie season, he is in the Rookie of the Year race for this season. His play (18.1 points, eight rebounds, 2.3 blocks per game) is a big reason the Thunder are neck and neck with the Wolves for the top record in the Western Conference. Holmgren is shooting 44% from three-point range on four attempts per game.
Injuries: Jaden McDaniels (right ankle sprain) and Jordan McLaughlin (right knee sprain) remain out for the Wolves. Guard Jalen Williams (hip) is questionable for the Thunder.
Forecast: Aside from Holmgren, the Thunder don't have the size to match the Wolves, and they will have to beat the Wolves with their quickness. But Oklahoma City is loaded with talent, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (30.4 points per game) is putting together another All-NBA season. Tuesday should be a fun contrast in styles between two good teams.