Final Score: Oklahoma City 106, Minnesota 84
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant scored 26 points and grabbed
eight rebounds as the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled to a 106-84 decision over a
short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves squad at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Russell Westbrook accumulated 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to
help the Thunder bounce back from Monday's startling 101-99 setback at league-
worst Washington, with Kevin Martin contributing 19 points off the bench to
Oklahoma City shot 55.3 percent in the second half to pull away while making
11-of-20 attempts from 3-point range for the game, with Martin going 4-of-7
from long distance and Westbrook knocking down 3-of-4 tries from beyond the
"I thought our defense was good throughout the game," Thunder head coach Scott
Brooks said. "We started out with solid defensive execution, and in the second
half our offense caught up with it."
Minnesota, which was without head coach Rick Adelman for a second straight
night due to a personal matter and lost All-Star forward Kevin Love for an
extended period last week, received 18 points from Alexey Shved and a 17-
point, 10-rebound effort from Nikola Pekovic.
Derrick Williams finished with 14 points and 11 boards in the loss, the
Timberwolves' fifth in their last six outings on the road.
After Westbrook accounted for the final five points of the first half to stake
the Thunder to a 47-42 edge at the break, Oklahoma City dominated the final
two quarters to put the game out of reach.
Shved began the third quarter by sinking a jumper, but the Thunder scored the
next seven points and grabbed a double-digit spread when Thabo Sefolosha's
trey 1:28 into the second half made the score 54-44.
Oklahoma City continued to control the action from there, with Minnesota never
getting closer than eight points down and falling behind by a 74-58 count
after Martin finished off an 8-2 run with a 3-ball with 2:21 to go in the
Durant's dunk off one of Shved's seven turnovers on the evening pushed
Oklahoma City's lead past the 20-point mark at 93-72 with six minutes left,
and Martin buried another triple on the Thunder's next possession to further
increase the differential.
"We played hard, we just ran out of gas," Timberwolves assistant coach Terry
Porter said. "We just didn't do a good enough job."
After a sluggish opening quarter in which neither team shot better than 33
percent and ended in a 16-16 tie, the Thunder began to heat up in the second.
The contest was deadlocked again at 22-22 early in the period, before Oklahoma
City embarked on a 14-2 run to break things open. Westbrook netted five points
during the surge, and his layup and free throw just past the midway point of
the second quarter put the Thunder up by a 34-24 score.
Serge Ibaka followed with a dunk in transition to extend the margin to 12
points, though Minnesota would get back into it shortly afterward by virtue of
a 13-2 burst late in the half.
A Shved 3-pointer started the flurry, which Andrei Kirilenko capped with two
successful free throws that forged a 42-42 tie with 1:13 remaining prior to
Westbrook drove the lane and scored on Oklahoma City's next trip, though, then
knocked down a long-range bucket with 37.3 seconds on the clock to send the
Thunder into the locker room up by five.
The Timberwolves announced prior to the game that Love will undergo surgery to
repair his recently fractured right hand and is expected to miss between 8-
to-10 weeks ... Minnesota also played without guard J.J. Barea, who sat out
with back spasms ... Oklahoma City has now won 13 of the last 14 meetings
between the clubs, with the T-Wolves' lone triumph over that span a 99-93 home
win on Dec. 20 ... Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio played on consecutive
days for the first time since returning from ACL surgery last month, and had
seven assists in 22 minutes despite not registering a point ... The
Timberwolves fell to 0-7 when scoring under 90 points this season, compared to
a 16-9 mark when surpassing that number.
01/10 02:07:13 ET
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