Notebook: Thunder 127, Timberwolves 111

Posted Feb 23, 2013 12:19 AM

Randy Renner, for

THE FACTS: Thunder All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had big nights, combining to score 64 points and hand out 16 assists while leading Oklahoma City to a 127-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Westbrook controlled the game all night long and led all scorers with 37 points on 13-for-22 shooting. He also handed out nine assists, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked a shot. Durant had 27 points on 9-for-17 shooting. He also pulled down seven rebounds and dished seven assists.

The Timberwolves had seven players in double figures and four of those seven were bench guys. Alexey Shved came off the bench to lead Minnesota with 17 points. The T-Wolves' bench scored 59 points. Andrei Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham added 15 and J.J. Barea dropped in 14 before fouling out.

Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin broke out of a bit of a shooting slump by scoring 19 points on 7-for-11 from the floor and OKC center Kendrick Perkins had 10 points and seven rebounds while holding T-Wolves center Nikola Pekovic to just five points on 1-for-4 shooting. Pekovic had averaged 21.5 in Minnesota's two previous games with Oklahoma City.

QUOTABLE: "I thought Perk's defense on him (Pekovic) was just outstanding tonight. He limited his shots, he was very active and plus he scored a couple of buckets."
--Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.

QUOTABLE II: "We couldn't control their three big guys (Durant, Westbrook & Martin). They pretty much had their way with us. Offensively we played pretty well but defensively we could never get a handle on it."
-- Wolves coach Rick Adelman.

THE STAT: The Thunder shot 57.8 percent overall and 64.3 percent on 3-pointers. In the third quarter OKC was even more potent, shooting 72.7 percent overall and 100 percent (2-for-2) from long range.

TURNING POINT: With a tenth of a second left in the first half and OKC leading just five points, Luke Ridnour fouled Westbrook on a 3-point attempt. The Thunder point guard hit all three free throws to boost the Oklahoma City lead to eight going into the break. The Thunder then came out on fire in the third quarter scoring 34 points to give OKC its biggest lead (17 points).

QUOTABLE III: "We wanted to make sure we set the tone in the third quarter and Russell and Kevin were very aggressive."
-- Brooks.

HOT: The Thunder started hot, shooting 57.1 percent (12-for-21) in the first quarter and finished the first half at 60 percent (24-for-40)...Durant was 5-for-9 (16 points) in the first half...Barea was 5-for-6 in the first half...The T-Wolves bench (Barea, Shved, Cunningham and Greg Stiemsma) combined to go 16-for-18 in the first half and score 36 of Minnesota's 58 first half points...Westbrook was 6-for-8 (13 points) in the third quarter...OKC scored 20 points in the paint on 10-for-11 shooting, 11 fast break points on 5-for-5 and two second chance points on 1-for-1.

NOT: Minnesota shot just 37.5 percent (6-for-16) in the first nine minutes of the game...Derrick Williams was 0-for-5 in the first quarter...Barea was 1-for-4 in the second half.

INSIDE THE ARENA: The 94th consecutive sell-out inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

GOOD MOVE: Adelman let his bench play a lot of minutes tonight and they responded. All four bench players who logged extended minutes scored in double figures.

BAD MOVE: Brooks said before the game, "we have to play better defense" and for the first nine minutes the Thunder did. They held the Wolves to 37.5 percent shooting (6-for-16) but over the next nine minutes the defense went to the locker room early. Minnesota went 15-for-18 (83.3 percent) during that stretch do get back in the game. Most of that damage was done by the Timberwolves bench.

NOTABLE: The Thunder came in with a three-game losing streak and hadn't lost four straight since the 2008-09 season. That's also the last time Minnesota beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Thunder is now 12-3 in bounce back games this season.

UP NEXT: For the Timberwolves, Sunday vs. Golden State, Tuesday @ Phoenix, Thursday @ LA Lakers. For the Thunder, Sunday vs. Chicago, Wednesday vs. New Orleans, Friday @ Denver.