Game Recap: Thunder 111, Timberwolves 103
News and notes following the Thunder’s 111-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves:
- Oklahoma City now moves to 11-2 in March and 13-2 on Friday night. The Thunder is also 10-2 against Northwest Division opponents.
“That was a solid win,” said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks, “Everybody chipped in. We had seven guys in double figures.”
- Those seven were Kevin Durant (23), Russell Westbrook (19), Nazr Mohammed (14), Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison and James Harden (13) and Serge Ibaka (12).
“That’s what we need to win. It’s not just two or three guys out there,” said Thunder forward Kevin Durant. “Everybody came out and chipped in to help. It was a good game for us.”
- The bigs combined for 52 points and 24 rebounds.
“All four of our bigs were good,” Brooks said, “Serge (Ibaka) and Perk (Kendrick Perkins) started well and then Nick (Collison) came in and hit every shot, inside, outside and Naz (Mohammed) was great. We have a lot of confidence in all our bigs. We can mix and match.”
“Everybody did a great job,” Durant said. “Nazr, Perkins, Serge and Nick played phenomenally well. I think Nick did a great job of getting us a spark on offense. Perk did a great job, he played very well. Serge did an incredible job and Nazr came in and gave us that energy we needed in the fourth.”
- Thunder defense held Minnesota to under 45% shooting in the first quarter and out-rebounded the T-Wolves 14-12. The defense also forced Minnesota into a shot clock violation. But even so it was not the start Coach Brooks wanted.
“Defensively it wasn’t as good as it has been,” he said. “We didn’t start the game off well defensively. As the game picked up we started doing a better job. The third quarter wasn’t good and then we finished the game off with good defense and made some shots down the stretch.”
- Nick Collison played his usual tough defense in the first half but he also had a great offensive half going 6-for-6 and scoring 12 points. Centers Kendrick Perkins (4-for-4) and Nazr Mohammed (2-for-2) were perfect also.
- The Thunder had four players in double figures at the break, Kevin Durant (13), Collison (12) and Russell Westbrook and James Harden with 11 apiece.
- Oklahoma City scored a whopping 36 points in the paint in the first 24 minutes. OKC finished with 58 points down low.
- With the Timberwolves rallying from 16 down Kevin Durant hits back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Thunder a four point lead going into the last quarter.
“Those 3’s were big shots,” Brooks admitted. “Our defense was very passive in the third quarter, allowing the ball to go where ever it wanted and they were hitting shots. Then KD hit the 3’s and our second unit extended the lead.
- The Thunder ended the fourth with a 6-0 run extending it to 16-3 and 23-7 with about four minutes left in the game to put it away.
PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Serge Ibaka alters to consecutive shots midway through the first quarter, then he is there to grab the rebound...Two consecutive blocks on one T-Wolves possession, the first by Serge Ibaka and the next by Tahbo Sefolosha sends Kevin Durant off on a fast break...Thunder defense shutting down Minnesota passing lanes late in the quarter forcing the Wolves into a shot clock violation...Nick Collison reaches in and steals the ball from Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic sending his teammates out on another fast break...Westbrook steps into the passing lane and intercepts a pass from Luke Ridnour, Russ then races down court to lay it in...Thunder have been clogging up the T-Wolves passing lanes in the first half...Thabo Sefolosha pesters Michael Beasley into a miss from long range late in the second quarter...On Minnesota’s next possession Serge Ibaka picks up his second block sending an Anthony Randolph shot into the seats...Late in the second quarter Kendrick Perkins bumps Darko Milicic out beyond his comfort zone forcing him to miss a baby hook shot as the shot clock expired...Perkins alters another Milicic shot forcing another miss and leading to a Serge Ibaka basket at the other end...An amazing steal by Russell Westbrook late in the third quarter just pick Luke Ridnour’s pocket as he comes across the center stripe. Westbrook then dribbled past two T-Wolves to score...Nazr Mohammed forces a turnover early in the fourth by poking the ball away from Nikola Pekovic and starting a fast break. Harden is then fouled going up for a shot and converts both...Collison with another solid defensive possession in the fourth quarter refusing to be posted up by Anthony Randolph. Instead Collison forces Randolph to shoot from where he doesn’t want to and he misses the shot.
STATS WORTH REPEATING: Oklahoma City’s big men dominated the game. Centers Kendrick Perkins (13 points, 5 rebounds) and Nazr Mohammed (14 points and 7 rebounds) combined for 27 points, 12 rebounds. Power forwards Serge Ibaka (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Nick Collison (13 points, 2 rebounds) combined for 25 points and 12 boards...The Thunder scored 58 points in the paint...They outscored Minnesota 22-6 in transition...OKC shot 52.4% and is now 21-3 when shooting 50% or better.
LAST WORD: “We’re playing good basketball and I think our guys are competing at a high level,” Brooks said. “I feel very good with what happened tonight.”
UP NEXT: Another Northwest Division rival will be in town Sunday night. Tip-off against the Portland Trail Blazers is a bit later than the normal Sunday tip, 7 p.m. , inside Oklahoma City Arena. You can see all the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.