Kevin Durant scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 43 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Minnesota Timberwolves 115-110 Saturday night.
Durant was unguardable in the final period playing all of it after coming out of the third quarter with 8:30 to play. Russell Westbrook finished the game with 35 points to go with eight assists.
The duo of Durant and Westbrook literally took turns tonight with Durant scoring 20 in the fourth and Westbrook scoring 16 in the third.
The Thunder needed all of this scoring from the top scoring pair in the NBA winning by just five despite no Kevin Love for the Timberwolves.
In Love’s absence Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph stepped up. Beasley scored 26 off the bench and Randolph 22. J.J. Barea carried the load for Minnesota in the first half and finished the game with 24 points and 10 assists.
It was a game that felt like the Thunder could have let slip away if they weren’t so superior in terms of talent with their top two guns. Durant and Westbrook combined 27-for-48 from the field, 6-of-10 from deep and 18-for-22 at the line.
James Harden after missing last night essentially missed tonight as well going 1-of-11 from the floor and 0-for-8 from three. He scored just six points in the game looking the worst he has all season, unaggressive early and seemingly just going through the motions for a lot of the night.
Without Love on the floor, Oklahoma City outrebounded the Timberwolves 53-39 and the Thunder pulled down 17 offensive boards.
Defense was really optional tonight and the game finished with one of the more interesting matchups of the season: Anthony Randolph guarding Russell Westbrook for the final three minutes or so of the game. The Thunder didn’t really go to Westbrook at this point with Durant rolling but Westbrook did try and drive on Randolph once only to see Randolph repel perfectly in position to take the charge.
It was that kind of game and a fun game but that’s what we expect when these two teams get together.
The Thunder (44-16) will play at the Clippers (37-23) for their next game Monday night in what will be the second game in their five-game road trip.