Few teams in the league display the same resiliency as the young OKC Thunder.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, owner of the top seed in the Western Conference, were in control in the latter half of the third quarter. Naz Reid made back-to-back three-pointers, Nickeil Alexander-Walker drilled his trey, and Anthony Edwards looked like he was finding his rhythm.
The Wolves had the type of run — at a crucial juncture of the game — that decides games. But not against the Thunder.
The Thunder outscored Minnesota, 28-14, in the final period. They made defensive stops after defensive stops, executed their offensive schemes, and pounced on the Wolves' mistakes down the stretch.
In yet another statement win, the Thunder showed their ethos.
“We just had great resilience tonight," Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said. Sometimes, you only need to rely on that resiliency when shots are not falling.
“It’s one thing to defend like that, but it’s another when you’re shooting the ball so poorly. We just had a really hard time cracking them. They played great defense in the second half,” said Daigneualt.
The Thunder were 39.5 percent from the field throughout the game, but their defense stifled the Timberwolves to just 3-on-13 shooting in the fourth period.
“I just thought our ability to defend, despite an imperfect night, showed great mental toughness by our team," Daigneualt added.
Here are some more Thunder takeaways versus the Timberwolves.