Victor Oladipo nailed down a 21-foot jumper with 6.7 seconds remaining as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98 on Tuesday evening.
Oklahoma City decided to sit Russell Westbrook, Taj Gibson, Andre Roberson, and Doug McDermott but it didn’t matter as the Thunder lead for a majority of the game.
The Thunder improved to 47-34 on the year.
Minnesota took a 10-9 lead with 7:46 left in the first quarter and the lights turned on for the Thunder. Oklahoma City would rattle off nine straight before Minnesota would finally score. Then, they followed it up with another nine points. When the run finally came to an end, it had reached 37-6 and the Thunder had a 38-16 lead in the second quarter.
Kyle Singler starting in the place of the resting players had nine points in the opening quarter. He was a strong catalyst to why Oklahoma City was able to work out to such a big lead so quickly. He finished with 11 points, second highest of his Thunder career.
It didn’t last long as Minnesota cut it to 56-43 at the break and by 4:19 mark of the third quarter, they had tied up the Thunder at 62-all. Oklahoma City and the T-Wolves would trade buckets before Omari Casspi nailed a corner three, giving Minnesota their largest lead 70-67 with 1:06 left in the third quarter.
While the T-Wolves led after three, Oklahoma City’s no quit attitude fueled them to the end. Jerami Grant hit a three giving Oklahoma City an 82-81 lead with 7:12 left in regulation. Oladipo hit the putback layup, giving Oklahoma City their biggest lead since the early third quarter.
With 43 seconds left, Ricky Rubio fouled Norris Cole, who split the charity opportunities, giving Oklahoma City a tie at 98-all with 43.4 seconds remaining. Karl-Anthony Towns missed a quick jumper with 27 seconds remaining. That gave way to Oladipo to do his thing.
The Thunder held a quality defensive stand, forcing the Minnesota into a bad shot at the buzzer.
Oladipo finished with 20 points 8-of-16 shooting, nine rebounds, and six assists. His eight turnovers were the second highest of his career.
Six different Thunder players scored in double figures. Domas Sabonis scored 19, Kanter with 12, Cole 10, and Adams with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Oklahoma City wraps up their regular season on Wednesday, April 12 against the Denver Nuggets. It’s expected to see Oscar Robertson and Adam Silver in the building to celebrate Russell Westbrook’s historic season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Be Aggressive: A+
The Thunder were aggressive from the opening tip. Oklahoma City did their best and attacked all game long and it was that’s why they did their best, coming out with the victory tonight. Oklahoma City really benefited from the youth the Thunder had tonight.
Force Turnovers: D
They only forced 11 turnovers and turned that into 17 points off turnovers. However, when Minnesota turned it over, the Thunder really made them pay. A quality defensive outing by the Thunder tonight.
Fast break: D
The Thunder only had eight fast break points tonight. It’s a stark contrast to what they can normally do with Russell Westbrook in the lineup. However, you really have to applaud the fact Oklahoma City kept the T-Wolves to only seven fast break points.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!