The Minnesota Timberwolves ended the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 12-game winning streak last night beating them 99-93 in Minnesota.
The Thunder were held to just 40.2 percent shooting from the field and 5-of-20 shooting from downtown.
The Thunder were also without star sixth man Kevin Martin who missed the game with a thigh contusion.
Minnesota received a big lift early from Kevin Love and then late from J.J. Barea. Love finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and Barea had 18 off the bench.
The Thunder drop to 21-5 on the year and will be off the next five days before playing the Miami Heat on the road on Christmas Day.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 41 minutes, 33 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists – A
Durant had a very good game but he didn’t get a lot of help. He went 12-for-21 from the field and made all eight of his free throw attempts. The issue is that Durant shot the ball seven less times than Russell Westbrook did. You can blame either for this. OKC probably could have used a few more shots from KD as opposed to Westbrook too.
Russell Westbrook – 44 minutes, 30 points, 9 assists, 11 rebounds – A-
Westbrook played more minutes than Durant for the first time all season. Head coach Scott Brooks knew the Thunder would be off the next five days so played four of his starters 40-plus minutes. Westbrook had a nice all-around game but turned the ball over eight times and was 9-for-28 from the field. He sees the Minnesota point guards as inferior and can’t help but attack them. He needed to play under control a little more last night.
Serge Ibaka – 40 minutes, 14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks – B
Ibaka had a lot of chances to score more than he did last night. He went 6-of-13 from the field and a lot of his misses were shots he normally makes. Maybe this was because he was playing a back-to-back but it wasn’t the same Ibaka that dominated the Spurs earlier in the week. He had some nice highlights on the defensive end swatting five shots though.
Kendrick Perkins – 20 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist – D
When Perkins puts up these numbers and the opposing center Nikola Pekovic goes for 24 and 10, it’s not a good thing. We’re not used to seeing Perk dominated this much but that was simply the case last night.
Thabo Sefolosha – 44 minutes, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals – C
It was big minutes for Sefolosha last night with Martin out of the lineup. He didn’t really make up for Martin’s absence. He shot 1-of-5 from three and 3-of-9 overall. It was interesting that Brooks didn’t give rookie Jeremy Lamb a chance to play.
Nick Collison – 19 minutes, 0 points, 6 rebounds – B
Collison checked in the first quarter and immediately started grabbing boards. But then in the second he didn’t get any and didn’t score at all in the game. The Thunder had just seven bench points and obviously needed more to have a chance to win.
Eric Maynor – 4 minutes, 3 points – C
Maynor surprisingly only played four minutes as Westbrook ended up going for 44. Not really much time for Maynor to do anything but he did hit a three and turn the ball over twice.
Hasheem Thabeet – 4 minutes, 1 rebound – C
Thabeet always makes sure he picks up at least two fouls, even if he does only play four minutes.
Reggie Jackson – 25 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block – C
Brooks decided to take a shot with Jackson, hoping for some energy and a spark off the bench and it didn’t exactly pay off. For whatever reason, Brooks stuck with Jackson for 25 minutes despite him not really doing anything. He missed both of his 3-point attempts and didn’t pick up an assist, although he didn’t have the ball in his hands much. Really is a mystery why Brooks didn’t play Lamb at least a few minutes.