The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 149-140 in double overtime in what might have been the best game in the NBA this season.
The Thunder won despite a career-high and franchise record 51 points from Kevin Love to go along with 14 rebounds and the game-tying three-point shot with 1.0 second left in regulation to send the game into its first overtime.
Oklahoma City got a career-high of 45 points out of Russell Westbrook and 40 points from Kevin Durant who also pulled down 17 rebounds in 52 minutes of action.
Durant dueled from deep with Love at the end of regulation and the first overtime. Before Love’s game-tying trey with a second left in regulation, Durant drilled a stepback bomb from straight away 25-feet to put the Thunder ahead 116-113.
The Thunder trailed by five with 46 seconds left of the first overtime following a breakaway dunk by Anthony Tolliver. Westbrook scored on a runner with 36 seconds left to cut the deficit to 129-126. Then Durant provided perfect pick-and-roll help defense on Love in the paint forcing a traveling violation.
With 10 seconds left, James Harden found Durant in the right corner for the game-tying three to send this game into another overtime.
It was all Thunder in the second overtime, outscoring Minnesota 20-11 with Westbrook leading the way. Russell refused to fatigue scoring nine points in the final overtime and everything coming from strong drives to the rim.
Down the stretch, Scott Brooks elected to go with Derek Fisher and Nick Collison alongside Durant-Westbrook-Harden. Fisher couldn’t buy a basket and was 2-for-11 from the floor and 1-for-5 on threes in the game. Collison plays hard but every now and then you can’t help but notice his undersized frame costing the Thunder on the 50-50 rebounds they easily consume via Serge Ibaka.
In the final overtime, the Thunder offense ran through Harden and executed with the same poetic feel that Harden brings to the floor every night. Harden put together a great all-around game tonight scoring 25 points to go with six rebounds and six assists.
It should be mentioned that in Ricky Rubio’s absence the Minnesota Timberwolves called upon 47 minutes of J.J. Barea tonight and he came through with his first career triple-double notching 25 points, 14 assists and 10 boards.
The Thunder have yielded many great box scores this regular season. It is yet to be decided if this is a good thing or not. One thing is certain and that is that the Thunder are the most exciting team in basketball this year.
Oklahoma City (36-12) is off tomorrow and then will square off in possibly their toughest test yet hosting the Miami Heat (35-11) Sunday night.
Tags: Derek Fisher J.J. Barea James Harden Kevin Durant Kevin Love Kevin Love 51 Points Nick Collison Ricky Rubio Russell Westbrook Russell Westbrook Career High Points Scott Brooks Serge Ibaka Thunder Vs Timberwolves