If ever there was a time where you found yourself wondering how physical a basketballer Steven Adams is, just take Jimmy Butler's word for it.

The Minnesota Timberwolves' star two-guard got straight to the point when he was asked about Adams by media after his side beat the Kiwi's Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday (NZ time).

"That mother f***** is strong," Butler said. "He hit me with one screen today and I thought my life was over.

"He's from Krypton or something, seriously."


Butler's Timberwolves proved to be too strong for Adams and the Thunder and Olahoma City's hunt for a top four seed in the NBA's Western Conference is starting to slip out of ther hands.

Read more: Adams is key to OKC's finals hopes

The side suffered their third straight loss in Minneapolis on Thursday in the 104-88 defeat, which wasn't helped by poor shooting from their starters

Aside from Russell Westbrook's 38 points from 15 of 23 shooting, the Thunder struggled from the floor all night.

Adams (2 of 5), Anthony (5 of 19), George (5 of 14) and starting two-guard Terrance Ferguson (1 of 7) had a hard time of things on the offensive end and it showed in the final score line.

The Thunder went into the match against the fourth-seeded Timberwolves looking to close the gap between the sides. Instead, they'll fall 4.5 games behind Minnesota - who look poised to make their first appearance in the playoffs since 2004.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have now lost three straight matches against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Photo / Photosport
The Oklahoma City Thunder have now lost three straight matches against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Photo / Photosport

Despite five turnovers in the first five minutes, the Thunder got off to a competitive start. Adams appeared to be the catalyst for lifting the Thunder as he posed plenty of problems for Timberwolves star centre Karl-Anthony Towns.

While the sides traded blows early, it did look as though it wasn't a matter of who would break away - it was a matter of when Minnesota would.


The sides went into the half-time break locked at 47 despite poor shooting from Thunder forwards Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, but their range didn't improve out of the break and the Timberwolves capitalised.

The home side outscored the Thunder 29-18 in the third quarter to take a tight grasp on the match, which they did not relinquish on their way to a third straight win over the Thunder this season.

The match was the 14th time this season that the Thunder had failed to score 100 points or higher. In those 14 matches, the side have lost 11.

Despite the loss, there was a silver lining for Adams' side. They'll remain fifth in the West after the Denver Nuggets missed a golden opportunity to overtake them in the standings.

The sixth-seeded Nuggets were upset at home by the Atlanta Hawks - who won just their 11th game of the season - and remain on the same win-loss record as the 22-20 Thunder.

The OKC side will now get two days off before their next match, when they face the Charlotte Hornets in North Carolina.