Rubio's Game-Winner Lifts T'Wolves To Upset Win


Friday, March 11th 2016, 11:19 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


In what was supposed to be a cake-walk Friday night matchup before the Thunder take on the Spurs on Saturday night, the Thunder was stunned at home by the Timberwolves 99-96.

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With the game tied and only 10 seconds left on the clock, Andrew Wiggins took the ball at the top of the key and drove towards the basket while sucking in the entire Thunder defense. That extra attention on Wiggins left Timberwolves’ point guard Ricky Rubio wide open behind the arc, and Wiggins was able to whip him the pass before he sunk the game-winning 3-pointer with only .2 seconds left on the clock.

OKC was out of timeouts and unable to advance the ball and Randy Foye’s near full-court heave was way short as the Thunder fell to 44-21 on the season.

Friday night’s loss was completely unacceptable for the Thunder seeing the home team led by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter and were up four points with less than a minute left in the game.

Most of the blame can be directly pointed at the sloppy play on offense, where the Thunder totaled a whopping 24 turnovers, with 11 of them coming in the third quarter when the Thunder should’ve been expanding on its three-point halftime lead.

There was a feel throughout most of the second half that OKC would eventually pull away from lowly Minnesota, but instead it was the young Wolves who gave the Thunder everything it wanted and more.

OKC was without defensive stopper Andre Roberson after halftime due to a tweaked ankle, but defense wasn’t the only problem for the Thunder as its offense only tallied 43 points in the second half.

Kevin Durant led OKC in scoring with 28 points in the loss, while Russell Westbrook added 26 points and eight assists. Enes Kanter had a double-double off the bench with 17 points and 14 rebounds, but Serge Ibaka was nearly nonexistent with zero points after rolling his ankle in the first quarter and then eventually fouling out.

All five Minnesota (21-45) starters scored nine points or more, led by Gorgui Dieng who tallied 25 points and nine rebounds while Wiggins added 20 points. Rookie Karl-Anthony Towns also hit some huge shots down the stretch and finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Oklahoma City will try to regroup quickly, seeing the Spurs are up next on Saturday night in San Antonio. It will be a tough test for the Thunder, as the Spurs (55-10) have yet to lose at home this season.