Everything looked fine through three quarters, but the Thunder took control of the final quarter, and eventually game, beating the Wolves 113-103 in OKC. The loss puts the Wolves at 9-10 on the year, and keeps them winless on the latter ends on back-to-backs. For OKC, the win puts the Thunder at 12-3 on the year, and are now just a half game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the top spot in the Northwest division.
The Wolves had control for the first three quarters, but as Jim Peterson put it to end the game, "they took the game from Minnesota" in the final quarter, winning the fourth 35-20.
Kevin Durant had his struggles at the Target Center back in late October, but had no interest in repeating his misfortunes at home. For good measure, he added a triple double to his 32 points on 14-21 shooting.
Having Russell Westbrook definitely helped as well. It wasn't just his 19 points that made the difference, it was his physical presence and the threat of his abilities on the court that gave Durant more looks and opportunities.
As the lead slipped away, the Wolves didn't seem to enter 'panic mode' until the deficit had hit double digits. Kevin Love tried to create offense for himself, but Serge Ibaka did a great job of taking him completely out of his element and subsequently, out of the offense. Love finished 4-14 with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Martin and Pekovic shot the ball well throughout the game, but past them, it was tough for the Wolves to find any offense as the final quarter hit. Martin and Pek had 24 and 22 respectively.
Jim Peterson discussed a pretty amazing stat during the broadcast tonight, saying the Thunder were 4-0 (and are now 5-0) entering fourth quarters when losing at home this year. That's a combination of a great homecourt advantage and a team with supreme confidence in their collective ability. It also shows that they understand their identity, something Steve McPherson of A Wolf Among Wolves discussed earlier today. Check it out when you have a chance, it's a good read.
The Wolves are now off until Wednesday when they face off against the Spurs in Mexico City. It will be the only "home game" against the Spurs the Wolves will get this year.