The Oklahoma City Thunder fell 101-93 on the road last night to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It was once again a curious game in that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both played well in a Thunder loss. They simply got very little help.
The Timberwolves took more free throws, got more offensive rebounds and turned the ball over less than the Thunder.
Nikola Pekovic led the Timberwolves with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Ricky Rubio had 17 points, seven assists and four steals.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 41 minutes, 36 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists – A
Durant was really a monster last night. He shot 13-for-19 from the field and was 9-for-9 from the free throw line. His assists were kind of low but that also had to do with his teammates not knocking down shots. It’s amazing that the Thunder can lose games when KD plays this well.
Russell Westbrook – 32 minutes, 18 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds – B
Westbrook played fine as well. He could have been more efficient but 7-for-17 isn’t terrible for him. He also turned the ball over just twice which is a good barometer that he is locked in and playing well. One concern though is that he was basically outplayed by Rubio which made what usually is an advantage for the Thunder, not one last night.
Serge Ibaka – 36 minutes, 10 points, 11 rebounds, 5 blocks – B+
Ibaka was very active last night on the glass and blocking shots. He became the league leader in blocks per game after last night. He went just 4-for-10 from the field and his jumper wasn’t falling as much as it normally does, which hurt the Thunder somewhat.
Kevin Martin – 20 minutes, 4 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound – F
Martin was awful last night playing just 20 minutes and shooting 1-for-9 from the field. The Thunder can’t afford for Martin to play this poorly.
Kendrick Perkins – 26 minutes, 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block – D+
This was not a good game for Perkins either who couldn’t slow down Pekovic and found himself in foul trouble for most of the night. He also turned the ball over four times which is unacceptable for someone that has the ball so little.
Thabo Sefolosha – 28 minutes, 10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block – B
Sefolosha shot well which was nice and he went 2-for-2 from three for the game. An underrated part about what makes Sefolosha not that good is his inability to make entry passes to Durant. When the ball is in his hands late in ball games, it is not a good sign for the Thunder. Even Martin is much better at this than Thabo. James Harden was the best at it.
Nick Collison – 19 minutes, 0 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist – C+
KD and Russ got little help from their teammates last night and that included Collison, which is rare. He didn’t score and wasn’t much of a factor for most of the game. The Thunder didn’t have to rely on Collison to score last year but they need him to do more this year. He normally does, just not last night.
Reggie Jackson – 19 minutes, 8 points, 1 assist, 2 rebounds – B-
Jackson took 10 shots which was pretty amazing. Some were in garbage time. He looked good when he checked in scoring a few buckets at the rim right away. He hasn’t really been hitting his outside shot lately but he’s not exactly expected to do so. He was in there in crunch time instead of Martin as the Thunder went small.
Derek Fisher – 13 minutes, 3 points, 1 assist – C-
Fisher actually made a field goal which was weird to see. He finished 1-for-4 from the field for the game and was, for the most part, terrible. It’s really unacceptable that he plays over Ronnie Brewer.
Hasheem Thabeet – 6 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal – B+
Thabeet only played in the first half and was actually very good out there. He was very active and his one basket was a nice dunk inside off a Collison assist.