Oklahoma City led by as many as 13 points in the first half, and it watched two three-point shots in the final 3.9 seconds of regulation. However, it took two overtimes, but Oklahoma City finally prevailed over the Minnesota Timberwolves 149-140. The Thunder won their second straight game for the first time since late february, improving to 36-12 on the season. OKC also improved to 21-4 at home.
Oklahoma City trailed early to the Timberwolves 17-10. However, from then until late in the fourth quarter, it was all Thunder. Oklahoma City came back and took a 30-29 lead at the end of the first quarter, led by James Harden who had 17 first half points. Oklahoma City pushed their lead to as much as 13 points at 49-36 midway through the second quarter.
It seemed like Oklahoma City would run away with the ball game, but back came Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves. They would hit 9-of-13 three-point shots in the first half, including one in the final 10 seconds of the half, to make it 63-61 at half.
It seemed like any time Oklahoma City would make a run in the second half, back came the T-Wolves. The Thunder had pushed the lead to 88-79. However, the Wolves fought back, cutting the lead to 88-84 with about two minutes to go. Then Kevin Durant took over, scoring the final six points of the quarter, making it 94-88 after three quarters.
Oklahoma City pushed the lead up to as much as 98-91 in the fourth quarter. The Wolves would fight back, clawing back into it by finally hitting their threes in the second half. Love would have a big shot after another big shot for Minnesota. Including in the final seconds of the game.
Minnesota had just tied the game up at 113-113 with :27.3 seconds to go. Durant basically broke Anthony Tolliver’s ankles and hit the step by three-pointer from the top of the key with :03.9 remaining. Kevin Love, the three-point champion, would not be outdone, as he hit a three-pointer from 25 feet out over Russell Westbrook with :1.0 to silence a roaring crowd and tied it up at 116 a piece. Durant missed a chance in regulation to tie it up.
In the first overtime, it was basically all Timberwolves (See: Kevin Love) as they led for most of the overtime. With :46.3 seconds to go in overtime, the Timberwolves took a 129-124 on a JJ Barea punch out to Tolliver, who jammed it home. Oklahoma City looked dead on the spot.
However, it was Westbrook’s determination that scored quickly with :36 to go. Then it was Kevin Durant’s help side defense that forced Love to travel with :16.1 to go that gave Oklahoma City a chance. Then with :10.1 on the clock. Mr. Kid Clutch. K-Smooth. Durantula. Kevin Freakin’ Durant hit a three from the wing that tied it up at 129-129.
As the new saying goes: “If The ‘Peake is arockin’ don’t come a’knockin’.”
We headed to a second overtime where Oklahoma City grabbed the lead and never relinquished it. Oklahoma City were up by four points numerous times. However, the Timberwolves made one final run at it, and cut the lead to 140-138 with 2:14 left. However, Durant and Westbrook battled and led this team on to victory. The win was capped off with Derek Fisher finally hitting a shot, making it 149-138 with :21 to go.
Post Game Grades
Points in the Paint: C
Well, it’s really hard to calculate this to a point. The Wolves had 56 points in the pain, in 56 minutes. I would say, compared to the last game, they improved. It was really hard to stop Kevin Love to a point. The guy was just on it tonight.
Three-Point Shooting: B
I give this a B – on one condition. Derek Fisher STOP shooting threes. Fisher was 1-5 from three. You take that away. OKC is 9-22 and a pretty good percentage. I guess OKC was just set on getting him that basket…
Second Unit: C-
Okay, Originally wrote F.. then D.. but I stick with a C-. Yeah, they got severely outscored (44-61). However, credit the defense side. (I know what I just said) Collison’s defense at certain times on Love is why Serge Ibaka didn’t play much, if at all in overtime.
- First thought is what you’re all thinking: What the hell Derek Fisher???!?!?!?! We didn’t bring this guy in to shoot shots. I want to honestly say he shot us into a double overtime game with a team that didn’t deserve to be in double-OT game with us. The 2-11 was really pathetic if you ask me. This guy was brought in to run the offense, and not shoot baskets. However, if he makes some baskets on the way, great.. that’s just the gravy on top. Dictate the second unit, but quit shooting up blanks.
- Russell “Honey Badger” Westbrook was good westbrook tonight. Westbrook finished 17-28 from the floor and a cool 9-9 from the free throw line. His defense needed a lot of work. Which is disappointing coming off the game against Chris Paul. I guess we cannot come to expect that every time. He had a new career high of 45 points which was just so impressive. I wanted him to get 50.
- I was really impressed with Kendrick Perkins for the most of the game. Minnesota really took him out of the game by going small. It happens. He was doing so well. He was 6-of-9 from the floor for 12 points and five rebounds. I wish we saw a lot more of the all around game we saw tonight from Perkins.
- Man, how clutch is Durant? Seriously. Two HUGE threes. Had he missed them, OKC could have been going into the game with Miami as a loss. He had just 10 points at halftime. He finished with 40. Just so outstanding. He was effiecent too. He was 15-26 from the floor and scored 40 points. Durant also had 17 rebounds against the Wolves tonight. He just did it all.
- The 149 points is a Thunder Franchise record. Previous record was 139 points April 6, 2010 at Utah. You know, the game where KD was mugged and there was a no call. Even the NBA said so.
- Why didn’t James Harden get more opportunities? The Beard had a crisp 17 points at halftime, but finished with just 25. I hate the fact that I just said “just” 25 points. I don’t know if it was Fisher getting his shots, or what, but he just wasn’t getting the opportunities there.
- Why wasn’t Thabo in there more? He was a +12 in 19 minutes. Yeah, he was 0-3 from the floor, but even coach Scott Brooks says he’s one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league, why not play him more? It makes no sense to me. He seems fine.
- Oklahoma City was very exceptional at the line tonight. They finished 19-20 for 95%. That’s what we’ve come to expect from the league’s best free throw shooting team.
- Oklahoma City won the rebounding category, and really just limited the extra chances for the Timberwolves. I think that was very key for the Thunder. They outrebounded by seven and didn’t allow more offensive rebounds than the Thunder had. Also, OKC only turned the ball over 12 times in 56 minutes. Might be a season best. OKC had 13 more shot attempts than Minnesota. It also led to 11 extra made baskets.
- Now that said, looking at the stat book, there is NO reason why Oklahoma City goes to double overtime with this team. I honestly can’t think of something why this team goes to 2OT with this team. I want to blame Fisher. I want to put it on Love’s career and franchise night. I just can’t put a finger on it. Too many factors going into this game to why OKC didn’t win this walking way in double-digits.
- Elias Bureau says Durant and Russell Westbrook first pair of teammates in NBA history to each score 40 points in same game twice in season.
- The Thunder are now just 9 games away from clinching the Northwest Division for the second straight year.
- It’s the first time Oklahoma City has one back-to-back games in almost three weeks. Last time it happened was the wins over Dallas and Phoenix. Since then, they’ve alternated their last 9 games.
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