Game Grades: Thunder vs. Wolves


Wow. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to fully describe how awesome ThunderWolves was last night.

For the second time this year, the Thunder were involved in a game where there was a 50-point scorer, a 40-point scorer (two this time), and someone with a triple double.

Kevin Love scored a career and franchise-high 51, JJ Barea has 25 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

Russell Westbrook netted a career-high 45 points, followed by Kevin Durant with his second 40+ point game this season.

The game was highlights by three 3-pointers, the first by Durant with 3 seconds to go in regulation to take a three point lead. Kevin Love answered immediately, sending the game into overtime with a three of his own.

Then in the first overtime, Durant came up in the clutch again, hitting a game-tying three with 10 seconds left in the first extra period. The Thunder seemed to have all of the energy in the world, driving past the Wolves defense to pull out a nine point victory in 2OT, 149-140.

Minnesota was playing their last game of a seven game road trip, where they went 2-5, falling farther behind in the playoff race. Oklahoma City won two games in a row for the first time since March 7th.

The Thunder have a day to rest, before Miami comes to town for a potential NBA Finals preview.

Kevin Durant- A+     40pts/17reb/5ast/3stl

There isn’t much of a race for MVP, with LeBron James having a historically amazing season, but Kevin Durant is doing all he can to get his name in there. This is only the 13th time in league history that a player had at least 40/17/5, and the first since 2007.

Russell Westbrook- A+     45pts/4reb/6ast/2stl

Westbrook seemed to have all of the energy in the world, out there. In the second overtime, he was driving past a tired Wolves defense for easy layups, and giving the Thunder the energy they needed to finally pull away. Russell shot with wonderful efficiency, going 61% from the floor, and making all nine attempts from the line. This may have been the best game Russell Westbrook has ever played.

Serge Ibaka- B     8pts/9reb/2stl/5blk

Because of the Wolves smaller lineup, Coach Brooks decided to go small for a majority of the game. Serge only played 25 minutes of a 58 minute game. Still, the Thunder big man managed to block five shots, and grab nine rebounds.

Kendrick Perkins- B+     12pts/5reb/0ast/0blk

I was very surprised with Perk last night, for the first (and only third this season) time since February 10th he scored more than 10 points. Making a contribution on the offensive end is very rare for Perkins, but it was nice to see. Along with Ibaka, Perkins got limited minutes due to the size of the Timberwolves.

James Harden- A     25pts/6reb/6ast/1stl

I love that Harden was given control of the ball late in the game. This is becoming more of a regular thing for the Thunder, and it usually turns out well. Harden has been a better passer than Westbrook, and can also create for himself. Harden scored his 25 on just 17 shots, and co-led the team in assists with six. Harden’s passing has really helped the bench get more involved in the scoring for the Thunder.

Derek Fisher- D-     5pts/2reb/3ast/1stl

Man, did Fisher annoy me this game. It seemed like he wanted to take every big shot like it was the 2004 Western Conference Playoffs. He was 1-10 before he finally made a meaningless 3-pointer at the end of 2OT. As I stated in the Fisher roundtable, he shouldn’t come near the ball in clutch situations, and the very next day, the opposite happens. I don’t understand why he was given 36 minutes, when Reggie Jackson DID NOT PLAY. Honestly I would have rather had Royal Ivey out there; at least he makes shots occasionally. Ahh, the Derek Fisher Experiment is going to be the end of me.

Rest of the Thunder (pretty much just Nick Collison) – B+

Collison played a great game, and is showing why he deserves 20 minutes a game. Harden and Collison make a good duo off the bench, and are really improving over the course of the year. Not Ibaka, not Perkins, but Nick Collison was left in the game during overtime. The Thunder trust him to do his job, and not make any crucial mistakes when on the floor. He scored 11 points, along with three of each, rebounds, assists, and steals.