The Oklahoma City Thunder got 6 points on 2-7 shooting from starting center and all-around good guy Kendrick Perkins, 12 points (1-8 from three, but the one make was a backbreaker) from Thabo Sefolosha and held on to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-97 in Oklahoma City.
The Thunder had 19 offensive rebounds, 14 fast break points (to the Wolves 2) and outgunned a Wolves squad who had learned just before tipoff they would not only be without Nikola Pekovic (still out with bursitis) and Corey Brewer (attending the birth of his son), but they would also be without Kevin Love after suffering a brutal fall against the Lakers at Target Center Tuesday night.
Kevin Durant had 26 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists and Reggie Jackson had 20 and the Thunder let the Wolves hang around just long enough to make it interesting — a Sefolosha three with just under two minutes remaining put the game out of reach.
11 of the Wolves 14 turnovers occurred in the second half. 6 of those 11 came in the fourth quarter. The Wolves made just 1-5 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute started alongside Dante Cunningham and Ronny Turiaf and Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel and Gogui Dieng also saw (relatively) extended action with the Wolves missing their entire starting front court. Cunningham provided an inspired 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 rebounds, assists and blocks on 9-13 shooting in Love’s stead.
Rick Adelman opted to sit Kevin Martin in the fourth quarter on the second night of a back-to-back. Martin finished with 8 points on 4-10 shooting.
Ricky Rubio finished with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists on 6-12 shooting.