Thunder Finally Win a Game, Blow out T-Wolves 127-111

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) watches the ball after a dunk against the Minnesota Timberwolves duiring the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Russell Westbrook

The Oklahoma City Thunder finally got off the losing side of things tonight. The Thunder found their groove early in the first quarter and went the distance for the 127-111. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant set the curve for the game. Oklahoma City led by as many 18 points. The Thunder won their 40th game of the season, improving to 40-15 on the season.

The 127 points scored tonight was is a season high for Oklahoma City.

Durant struggled early for Oklahoma City. He was 1-of-5 to start the game, and at that point, he was just 5-of-18 over his last two games. Then something clicked. He lit up, and then he lit up the Timberwolves. He helped Oklahoma City have a double-digit lead as early as the first quarter.

Minnesota did their best though. JJ Barea, annually a Thunder killer, did his best job in the second quarter, he was able to will the T-Wolves to within four points multiple times, but it was Kevin Martin’s two three-point bombs that helped give the Thunder some cushion.

Oklahoma City had 1.8 seconds left until halftime, so they pushed the ball up the court. That’s where Westbrook attempted a wild three-point attempt, but was fouled with 0.1 left on clock. That gave Oklahoma City the 66-58 lead at halftime.

It’s the second consecutive game that Oklahoma City broke the 60-point barrier at halftime.

Westbrook really had Minnesota’s number. He took over the second half, dropping 37 points on 13-of-22 shooting, and 21 points in the second half. If Westbrook was to play like this every night, Oklahoma City might go 82-0.

None of that was needed in the third quarter. Oklahoma City came out, rippin’ and ready to go. Thunder scored the first six points of the second half, and then pushed the lead to as much as 17 in the quarter. Kendrick Perkins on the dunk gave Oklahoma City 100 points before the end of the third quarter.

Just how good of a third quarter was it for the good guys? Oklahoma City dropped 34 points in the quarter on 73-percent shooting.  Not to mention, the 11 fast break points in the quarter, really pushed the tempo to their favor.

In their final chance, Minnesota cut the Oklahoma City lead down to as low as 11 points with seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter. That’s when the starters came back in the game and were able to push the lead back to a comfortable margin. Until late in the game, the T-Wolves cut it down to nine points with under two minutes to go. Minnesota though, couldn’t break the barrier.

Despite the three-game losing streak coming to an end, the Thunder are averaging 123.0 ppg over their last two games, that’s just so impressive. Oklahoma City will try to put on a winning streak as the Chicago Bulls come to town on Sunday.

Keys to the Game

Free Throws: A+
Oklahoma City didn’t win the free throw battle, but when they got to the line, they definitely made their shots. Oklahoma City went 22-22 tonight. When you shoot that well when given free opportunities to shoot, you’re inclined to do well. Oklahoma City took care of business tonight. The Thunder do not go perfect at the line very much.

Turnovers: D
Oklahoma City struggled tonight taking care of the ball. They turned the ball over 18 times, and then only forced 10 turnovers. The Timberwolves outscored the Thunder 26-12 on the points off turnovers. I think they need to fix that.

48 minutes, please?: A
The Oklahoma City Thunder finally put together a whole 48 minutes. Despite a low scoring fourth quarter from the good guys, it was a pretty good all around performance. Russell Westbrook just was something special tonight.

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