Final Score: Minnesota 101, Oklahoma City 93
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Nikola Pekovic recorded a double-double
with 22 points and 15 rebounds and Ricky Rubio added 17 points and seven
assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves edged the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-93,
on Friday at Target Center.
Chase Budinger supplied 13 points off the bench, while Andrei Kirilenko
chipped in with 12 for the Timberwolves, who have won two of three.
Kevin Durant scored 36 points and grabbed seven boards for the Thunder, who
had a three-game winning streak come to an end. Russell Westbrook had 18
points to go along with nine assists and Serge Ibaka had a double-double with
10 points and 11 boards in defeat.
"You get up for every game...but tonight we ran into a team that just played
better," Durant said. "It was just a little bump in the road."
Early in the fourth, a pair of Durant free throws minutes closed the gap to
84-81, but the Thunder quickly hit a cold streak and failed to find the
scoreboard for just over 4 1/2 minutes. Meanwhile, Minnesota scored eight
straight before Ibaka's jumper made it a 92-83 contest with five minutes
Once again Durant brought the Thunder back, this time within five with 3 1/2
minutes to play, but the determined Timberwolves didn't back down and stepped
up defensively to close the contest out.
Kirilenko's tip-in shot that made it 95-87 with 1 1/2 minutes remaining helped
secure the victory for good.
"I'm proud of the way our guys played," Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman
said. "It was a solid win against one of the best teams in the league."
After Minnesota led by five at the break, Westbrook hit a triple early in the
third to tie the contest at 56-56. The home team, though, then responded with
a 16-7 flurry over the next four-plus minutes to take a 72-63 lead on two
Rubio free throws.
The margin quickly closed as Durant's runner at the end of the third brought
the visitors within 80-77.
The contest was tied 23-23 after one quarter and the Timberwolves took a 53-48
edge into the break thanks to closing the first half on a 16-11 surge in the
Oklahoma City is 21-15 as the visitor this season ... The season series is
tied 2-2. Minnesota found victory in the first matchup on Dec. 20 ... The
Thunder had held their last four opponents to 90 points or fewer ... Minnesota
had a 21-15 advantage on second chance points.
03/29 23:24:37 ET
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