The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 30, 2013

Pekovic powers Timberwolves past Thunder

MINNEAPOLIS — If the Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t able to catch the San Antonio Spurs in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, Kevin Durant and Co. may look back to a late March night in Minnesota as the moment they let it slip away.

Barreling down on the Spurs with 11 victories in their previous 14 games, the rolling Thunder slammed into a 6-foot-11, Montenegrin road block and a feisty Timberwolves team they never saw coming.

Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Ricky Rubio added 17 points and seven assists to help the Timberwolves stun the Thunder 101-93 on Friday night.

“We’ll be fine,” Durant said. “You know, just a little bump in the road.”

Chase Budinger scored 13 points and Andrei Kirilenko played superb defense on Durant in the second half to help the Wolves deal the Thunder an unexpected setback in their pursuit of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Durant had 36 points and seven rebounds, but was just 4 for 9 in the final 22 minutes. Russell Westbrook added 18 points and nine assists for the Thunder, who fell to 2 1/2 games behind the Spurs in the West after San Antonio beat the Clippers.

“I’m pretty sure he’s tired right now,” Kirilenko said of Durant.

The Thunder could regret this one, but they can also take solace that they won’t see the Timberwolves — one of only five teams to beat them twice this year — in the playoffs. The Wolves had just 25 wins on the season, tied for second fewest in the West, having suffered through a litany of injuries. They were playing without Olympian Kevin Love, who has missed most of the season with a broken right hand.

So they used Pekovic’s broad shoulders and Dante Cunningham’s grit to get a surprising victory, one that moved coach Rick Adelman three away from 1,000 for his career.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again

    MILWAUKEE — Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win Tuesday night over the Milwaukee Brewers. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioner calls replay start ‘remarkable’

    NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks....

    April 16, 2014

  • Fielder finally goes deep as Rangers shut out Mariners

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers, Robbie Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0 Tuesday night....

    April 16, 2014

  • Warriors trying to move on without Bogut

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Go small or go home....

    April 16, 2014

  • White Sox wear Boston Strong on 1-year anniversary

    CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox have paid tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing before their game against the Red Sox....

    April 16, 2014

  • Hot goalie syndrome

    The NHL playoffs have arrived, which means it’s time for the goalies to get going....

    April 16, 2014

  • Musings from the Masters

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — The moment doesn’t get much bigger than this — a 20-foot putt on the 18th green Sunday at Augusta National for the win. Too bad this wasn’t the Masters....

    April 16, 2014

  • Green jacket and golden moment for Bubba Watson

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — For all the crazy stunts Bubba Watson does for fun, the green jacket was off limits....

    April 15, 2014

  • Lynn, Cardinals snap Brewers’ 9-game win streak

    Associated Press MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers’ nine-game winning streak was snapped Monday night when Lance Lynn struck out 11 in seven innings and Jon Jay hit a three-run homer for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-0 victory. Lynn ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Evans, Pelicans stun Thunder 101-89

    NEW ORLEANS — Tyreke Evans scored a career-high 41 points to go with nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals, and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped an eight-game skid by shocking the playoff-bound Thunder 101-89 on Monday night....

    April 15, 2014

Video
Facebook