The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 5, 2014

Durant carries Oklahoma City to win over Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Durant scored 23 of his season-high 48 points in the fourth quarter and hit the winner with 4 seconds to play to rally the Oklahoma City Thunder from 13 points down in a 115-111 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

Durant went 7 for 11 from the field and hit four 3-pointers in the final quarter to help the Thunder rebound from two straight losses at home.

Kevin Love played the entire second half and finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for the Wolves. But he missed four free throws in the final 27 seconds to let this one slip away. The last three came when he was fouled on a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to go and the Wolves down two.

After Durant hit a step-back jumper from 18 feet right over Dante Cunningham’s outstretched arm to give the Thunder a 113-111 lead, Love was fouled on a 3-pointer by Kendrick Perkins. Perhaps a little gassed from the work load, Love missed the first two free throws and his on-purpose miss on the third one didn’t hit the rim, giving Oklahoma City the ball.

Durant knocked down two more free throws, and the two stars embraced after the final horn, a thrilling duel just finished.

Durant and Love each got off to slow starts for the game, combining to shoot 8 for 24 in the first half. But they gave everyone their money’s worth in the fourth quarter.

The Thunder trailed 90-77 in the fourth before Durant, who also has seven rebounds and seven assists, went off.

The Thunder had let two fourth quarter leads slip away at home this week thanks to opposing defenses swarming Durant and forcing other players to beat them. Durant sure got involved Saturday, scoring six of Oklahoma City’s first seven buckets in the fourth to get the Thunder going.

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