OKC Thunder’s resilience shines through vs Timberwolves, 3 Takeaways

The OKC Thunder never say die, and their comeback against Minnesota proves that. Three takeaways from the Thunder's win.

Jan 20, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2)
Jan 20, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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Defense is the offense for the Thunder

Before the scintillating showing in the fourth quarter, the OKC Thunder’s rim was shrinking at each of their looks.

The Thunder shot just 38 percent up until the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves were enjoying a 46-percent shooting clip. 

In the fourth quarter, the tables turned. The Thunder were 41 percent from the field, doubling the Wolves’ 21 percent. 

That shooting swing emphasized the Thunder’s defensive energy and schemes, leveraging their offense through defense.  

The Timberwolves had 21 turnovers, of which 12 came off steals. Those turnovers allowed the Thunder to score 28 points off of them, igniting an offense that adored open-court fastbreaks. 

The Thunder also recorded an 116.7 offensive rating in the fourth quarter while tallying a 106.3 offensive rating throughout the game. 

Defensively, the Thunder held the Timberwolves to only 99 points per 100 possessions. 

With scrappy players all over their lineups, the Thunder also displayed their hustle, tallying 14 deflections and 11 loose balls recovered in the game.

Those displays showed the disparity in energy between the two squads, as Minnesota only had eight deflections and one loose ball recovered. 

The Thunder had a different gear within them defensively. They have an internal switch that allows them to take over stretches and games whenever they put it on