Dominant Fourth Quarter Leads Durant, Thunder Past Minnesota
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Minnesota Timberwolves embarrassed Oklahoma City in the second game of the season. Granted, the Thunder didn't have Russell Westbrook in that game, but even his presence wouldn't have made a difference in that shellacking.
Sunday night, the Thunder exacted a measure of revenge against the Timberwolves, riding a furious fourth quarter performance to a 113-103 victory, capping an undefeated six-game homestand.
With the win, Oklahoma City moved to 9-0 at The Peake this year. The six-game sweep at home is the longest such streak in franchise history.
The Thunder trailed 83-78 after three quarters, but a 3-pointer from Jeremy Lamb gave OKC an 84-83 lead, one it wouldn't relinquish for the rest of the game. OKC entered the quarter with just three makes from long range, but buried six 3-pointers in the quarters to key a 35-point period.
Once again, Reggie Jackson was the key catalyst for the Thunder in the fourth quarter. Jackson finished the game with 18 points and scored 11 in the fourth quarter alone, leading a 39-point performance for the Oklahoma City bench. Jackson scored seven straight points for OKC over a 1:11 stretch to put OKC up, 91-87.
Kevin Durant turned in a masterful performance, collecting his fourth career triple-double and barely missing an historical accomplishment.
Since 1985, only Hakeem Olajuwon has recorded a triple-double with at least five blocks and five steals. Olajuwon accomplished the feat twice in his career. Durant finished the game with 32 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists and four blocks and steals. Durant nearly went the distance, playing 44 minutes and shooting 14-of-21 from the floor.
Russell Westbrook finished with 19 points, while Serge Ibaka chipped in with 15 points on an off shooting night.
Kevin Martin made his return trip to Oklahoma City and led the Timberwolves with 24 points. Martin hit four 3-pointers, but his final make from long range came at the 9:52 mark of the third quarter. Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Kevin Love had 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Thunder did a great job of containing Love, who shot just 4-of-14 from the field. Love came out firing, hitting three 3-pointers in the first quarter, but didn't score again until the third quarter.
Minnesota came out firing, scoring 32 points in the first quarter, but the Thunder turned up the defense the rest of the way, holding the Wolves to 41.6 percent shooting for the game.
Surprisingly, the Thunder only attempted nine free throws for the game, making six of them. Minnesota went 20-of-26 from the free throw line. The discrepancy, while pronounced, didn't have a big effect on the game as the Thunder shot a sizzling 56.3 percent from the field and scored over half their points in the paint (58).
The second quarter was a forgettable one as OKC turned the ball over eight times and fell behind by as many as 11. The Thunder ended the game with 15 turnovers that Minnesota converted into 20 points. However, a 9-2 run over the last two minutes of the half sent the Thunder to the locker room down just 58-55.
The Thunder takes its seven-game winning streak on the road to take on Sacramento on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. CT.