The Norman Transcript

December 1, 2013

Durant, Thunder strike Timberwolves

All-star forward earns fourth career triple-double

By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript

OKLAHOMA CITY — OKLAHOMA CITY -- For three quarters, it looked like the Oklahoma City Thunder were going to have another night of drama. Two days after winning on a last second shot in overtime, they and the Minnesota Timberwolves seemed destined for a thriller after 36 minutes of action.

But Kevin Durant had no plans of allowing the game to go any longer than needed. Behind his fourth career triple double, he spearheaded a fourth quarter outburst to lead the Thunder to a 113-103 victory at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“We got into them, we touched them up and we didn’t let them run when they wanted to run,” Durant said. “We were bumping them and being physical. We need to do that all game.”

Durant finished the night with 32 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, four steals and four blocked shots. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first player with those numbers in the same game since blocks and steals became official stats in 1973-74.

However, Durant was more concerned with what he didn’t do.

“I wish I could’ve made a few more shots,” Durant said. “I turned the ball over a few times and gave them some open breaks.”

Minnesota led 83-78 after 36 minutes of action. Oklahoma City heated up to begin the fourth period. Durant started off with a 3-pointer at the top of the key, and he got an assist on Jeremy Lamb’s 3-pointer that give the Thunder a one-point advantage. Jackson then forced the Timberwolves to call a timeout with a jumper to complete the 8-0 run the first two minutes with Kevin Love and Rickey Rubio on the bench.

The Timberwolves got as close as 94-90 before Durant, Jackson and Russell Westbrook exploded from all over the court to put the contest away.

The Thunder (12-3) outscored the Timberwolves 35-20 in the fourth quarter to extend their winning streak to six games.

“They (Oklahoma City) just started hitting shots, and they got their crowd into it,” Love said. “They’re pretty good at home. I don’t know if they’ve lost here yet.”

Westbrook added 19 points, five assists and three steals. Jackson came off the bench to score 18 on 8-for-11 shooting.

Guard Kevin Martin paced Minnesota with 24 points on 6-for-16 shooting. Center Nikola Pekovic added 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Love had 16 points and 12 boards.

“We played great through three quarters, but we had some slippage a little in the fourth,” Martin said. “They turned up the pressure. We played tired and lost our confidence with what we’re supposed to do. We’ll learn from that and move on.”

The Thunder moved to 9-0 at home this season. It’s a mark Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks gives the majority of the credit to the Thunder fans. That includes carrying the team in the fourth quarter against the Timberwolves.

“I love loud city,” Brooks said. “They keep us going. The crowd is great. We’ve got a great crowd that our players don’t want to let down. It’s as simple as that.”

Michael Kinney

Follow me @eyeamtruth

mkinney@normantranscript.com

 

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