Quantcast
Latest Stories

Thunder snap 3-game skid, beat Minnesota 127-111



Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) watches the ball after a dunk against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. AP

OKLAHOMA CITY – Russell Westbrook scored 37 points, Kevin Durant added 27 and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 127-111 on Friday night.

The Thunder avoided losing four in a row for the first time since April 2009, near the end of their first season in Oklahoma City, but made little progress in getting their defense back in order.

They had allowed 113.7 points per game during the losing streak and were just a basket better against Minnesota, instead relying on an offense that regained the NBA lead in scoring average.

Alexey Shved led Minnesota with 17 points, and Andrei Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham had 15 points apiece. The Timberwolves shot 53 percent in the first half but couldn’t keep up that pace and wound up hitting on 43 percent after halftime.

Oklahoma City, which hit all 22 of its free throws, doubled its lead by scoring the first six points of the second half and then used a couple more bursts during the third quarter to start opening the gap.

Kendrick Perkins hit a jumper in the lane to finish a string of seven straight Thunder points, making it 87-70 midway through the third. Then, after an immediate 9-0 response by Minnesota, Westbrook had three buckets during an 8-0 flurry by Oklahoma City to push the lead right back to 16.

The Timberwolves never got closer than nine after that, cutting it to 120-111 on Luke Ridnour’s two free throws with 1:40 remaining.

Kevin Martin had 19 points off the bench for the Thunder, who went 9 for 14 from 3-point range.

J.J. Barea scored 12 of his 14 in the first half, Greg Stiemsma and Ricky Rubio had 13 apiece and Ridnour 10 as Minnesota put seven players in double figures even without leading scorer Nikola Pekovic getting there.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks had no doubt what’s gone wrong with Oklahoma City during a midseason swoon that came on suddenly after a run of four straight wins by at least 20 points that matched a franchise record.

”It’s pretty easy to pinpoint. It’s defense,” Brooks said before the game. ”If you take the last three games and you throw it into all the league stats, we’re probably last in every category.”

Neither team put up much resistance in the first half, with both teams shooting over 60 percent through the first 21 1/2 minutes before a stretch when Minnesota missed six out of seven shots to allow Oklahoma City to expand its lead to 66-58 at halftime.

The Thunder led by as many as 13 midway through the second quarter, but the Timberwolves were able to trim the deficit to 57-54 after making 10 of 11 attempts from the field. In the first half, Minnesota’s reserves were a combined 16 for 18 from the field and the team overall was 23 for 43 (53 percent).

Oklahoma City clamped down a bit to start to create some breathing room, and Minnesota went just 12 of 30 to start the second half while falling further behind.

NOTES: After trading away Eric Maynor, Oklahoma City is down to only two point guards on the roster. If Westbrook and backup Reggie Jackson both get into foul trouble, Brooks said he likes the option of putting Durant at the point. ”He’s actually handled the ball more this year, bringing the ball up. As his career continues to evolve, he’s going to be a point forward,” Brooks said. ”And I think this year – even a little bit last year, but this year more – hopefully next year it’s going to be even more. It just helps all of us. It takes the pressure off our ball-handlers when he’s able to bring up the ball.” … Brooks said new addition Ronnie Brewer should get in a film session during practice Saturday. … The Thunder are the league’s top foul shooting team.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


Tags: Alexey Shved , Andrei Kirilenko , Basketball , Kevin Durant , Minnesota Timberwolves , NBA , Oklahoma City Thunder , Russell Westbrook



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  2. Tale of fighting unwashed foe provides comic relief for Pacquiao’s Palace call
  3. Tough cast of possible Manny Pacquiao foes
  4. Talk ‘N Text knocks off listless Ginebra, enters semis
  5. Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  6. Tale of the Tape: Julaton’s MMA debut on May 2 vs. Saber
  7. Shakey’s V-League: Lady Agilas nip Lady Altas
  8. Express forge knockout tiff Use hot start to whip Beermen
  9. Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  10. Texters book semifinal slot
  1. Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  2. Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  3. Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  4. What Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could do
  5. Tough cast of possible Manny Pacquiao foes
  6. Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  7. Tale of fighting unwashed foe provides comic relief for Pacquiao’s Palace call
  8. Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  9. Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  10. Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  1. Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  2. ‘Mommy D’ steals show as son fights
  3. Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  4. Pacquiao wins unanimous decision vs Bradley to reclaim WBO title
  5. Pacquiao: I’m ready for Mayweather bout
  6. Mayweather surprise visitor to Bradley camp
  7. Bradley won’t last distance– Peñalosa
  8. Manny Pacquiao: I’ll have everything back
  9. Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  10. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley

News

  • PNP chief on plunder raps: ‘Amateurish’
  • Makati readies 12-month traffic plan for Skyway 3
  • Heard on Radyo Inquirer 990AM
  • Did you know
  • HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces, force do-or-die tiff
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Honda upgrades PH plant
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace