Wolves Wrap: Thunder drop Timberwolves 113-99 behind Westbrook’s triple-double


Mr. Triple-Double was at it again Friday night, as Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder took down the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-99 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The MVP-candidate scored 29 points, posted 10 rebounds and dished out 12 assists, registering his sixth triple-double in his last eight games and eighth of the season overall.

As noted in Ryan Heuer’s game preview, Westbrook is simply playing on another planet right now as “a man possessed.” The UCLA-product’s recent play has prompted NBA historians to scurry through the record books, searching for any other comparable stretch of games and has even led to rumors once thought of to be unfathomable – the prospect of trading Kevin Durant down the road.

The Wolves trailed after each quarter, seeing the deficit grow with each frame. Despite the defeat, Minnesota fans can take solace in a handful of very solid individual performances Friday – notably, Gorgui Dieng and Justin Hamilton. Unfortunately, the T-Wolves leading duo was outperformed by the combination of Westbrook and Enes Kanter, who has looked like a different player since coming over from the Utah Jazz.  

Yet again, the Wolves lived at the free-throw line in this one, going 28 of 31 compared to the Thunder’s perfect 14 of 14. Aside from that category, the Western Conference cellar dwellers were on the wrong end of every notable statistic.

To add insult to injury, it was a truly unlucky Friday the 13th for Wolves Nation as Ricky Rubio appeared to re-injury his ankle that sidelined him for over half of the season during the third quarter. If there is any good news coming from the event, early word is that Rubio was held out for the remainder of the game as a precaution.

In defeat, the Timberwolves drop to 14-50 and with the win, the Thunder stay in the playoff picture at 36-29.

Star of the Game

Russell Westbrook – 29 points (11-24 FG, 3-6 3PT, 4-4 FT) 10 rebounds, 12 assists, 2 steals, 8 turnovers

An 11-of-24 shooting performance, 8 turnovers and he still gets Star of the Game honors. Despite the awesome games for Kanter, Dieng and Hamilton, it’s impossible to ignore a triple-double.

Interestingly, Westbrook actually went to the bench late in the fourth quarter with the game basically wrapped and only had 9 boards. Then with under a minute left in regulation, with his night already done, official scorers credited Westbrook with one more rebound secured just minutes earlier. Could it just be a case of a hometown advantage? Perhaps, but the guard was playing with a 110-percent motor, flying through the air in an attempt to desperately secure the


individual achievement.

Tweet of the Night

Stat of the Night

43.6 FG%.

The Wolves matched the Thunder’s 43.6 percent shooting, but the home team took 23 more attempts. Minnesota went 34-of-78 overall and OKC was 44-0f-101. The Thunder lived beyond the arc, making 11-of-24 from downtown as opposed to Minnesota’s 3-of-12 night.

Notable Lines

  • Enes Kanter: 23 points (10-19 FG, 3-3 FT), 15 rebounds, 9 offensive rebounds
  • Gorgui Dieng: 21 points (7-10 FG, 7-8 FT), 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals
  • Justin Hamilton: 17 points (6-10 FG, 5-5 FT), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 3 steals

Who’s Got Next?

It doesn’t get any easier for the T-Wolves on Sunday as they face off against the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs in Texas. It’ll be interesting to see if some combination of Rubio, Kevin Garnett or Nikola Pekovic can suit up to face off against Tim Duncan and company. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. Central Time.