For the second straight night it appeared the Thunder’s defensive woes were going to cost them, and for the second straight night, OKC’s offensive firepower proved too much for the opponent to handle as the Thunder (35-13) took down the Timberwolves 126-123.
Three Thunder players scored 20 points or more, and Kevin Durant finished with a team-high 27 points to go with his nine rebounds and five assists.
Minnesota held a three-point lead going into the fourth quarter and many wondered if OKC would ever be able to slow down a Timberwolves team that isn’t known for its offensive efficiency, but the Thunder took the route of outscoring the T’Wolves instead.
Enes Kanter was able to grab an offensive rebound and put it back to tie the game at 99-99 with 8:18 left, and that basket finally woke up an OKC team that appeared to be going through the motions on the defensive end.
The Thunder held the Timberwolves scoreless over the next two minutes and built up an eight-point lead by the four minute mark of the final frame. Minnesota made a late push in the final minute, but both Durant and Russell Westbrook were able to make clutch free throws to seal the game.
Westbrook almost finished with a triple-double in the win with 24 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds, while Kanter totaled 23 points and 10 rebounds. Dion Waiters also had a solid game with 16 points.
Zach Lavine had a monster game for the Timberwolves (14-33) with 35 points on 14-for-17 shooting, while Gorgui Dieng scored 21 and Andrew Wiggins totaled 20 points of his own. Rookie of the year candidate Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
The Thunder will be back in action on Friday night when they return home to host the Rockets at 7 p.m.