NBA: Timberwolves newcomer Rudy Gobert shines in win over Thunder
Rudy Gobert scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to help the Minnesota Timberwolves earn a 115-108 season-opening win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Gobert, the Timberwolves’ biggest offseason addition after being acquired in a trade with the Utah Jazz, teamed up with Karl-Anthony Towns to lead Minnesota to a big early edge, then finished strong to lift the Timberwolves to victory.
At the end of the third quarter, Gobert came up with a big defensive play, giving momentum back to Minnesota after the Timberwolves had squandered a 16-point lead and fallen behind.
Gobert deflected a pass from Mike Muscala on the perimeter, then chased it down on the other end, hitting a floater at the buzzer to tie the game heading into the fourth.
A three-point play from Gobert in the opening minutes of the fourth, followed a bit later by his putback dunk, helped the Timberwolves regain control.
we got the dub.
Rudy – 23 pts./ 16 reb.
DLo – 20 pts./ 5 reb./ 2 ast.
Jaden – 19 pts./ 6 reb./ 3 ast./ 2 blk./ 3 stl.
Jaylen – 13 pts./ 3 reb.
KAT – 12 pts./ 6 reb./ 7 ast.
Ant – 11 pts./ 8 reb./ 7 ast.
TP – 11 pts./ 3 reb. pic.twitter.com/mRtgq6IY1Y
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) October 20, 2022
Minnesota outscored Oklahoma City 36-16 in the paint in the first half and was ahead 65-52 at the break.
The Thunder turned things around on the inside in the third quarter to take its first lead of the game.
Oklahoma City reeled off a 27-5 run to take a six-point lead in the final moments of the third.
The Thunder turned up the heat on defense, holding the Timberwolves to 5-of-20 shooting in the third before Gobert’s shot to end the quarter.
D’Angelo Russell added 20 points and Jaden McDaniels had 19 for Minnesota.
Towns finished with 12 points. He dished out seven assists in the first half, then never added to that total.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 32 points on 12-of-23 shooting. Gilgeous-Alexander hit 10 of his final 15 shots after struggling in the first quarter.
Josh Giddey added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City. Tre Mann had 12, Aleksej Pokusevski contributed 11 and Luguentz Dort scored 10.
The Thunder’s Jalen Williams left the game late in the first half and did not return after sustaining a right eye injury while defending a dunk try by McDaniels.
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