Minneapolis, MN – Kevin Durant posted 20 points in the fourth quarter en route to a game-high 43 points and the Thunder beat the Timberwolves, 115-110, at Target Center on Saturday.
Durant had 40 points when these teams last met in a 149-140 double-overtime thriller on March 23. Russell Westbrook had 45 in that Thunder win, but posted a modest 35 points and eight assists in Saturday's tilt when Oklahoma City kicked off a five-game road trip.
Michael Beasley led the way for Minnesota with 26 points, while J.J. Barea finished with 24 points and 10 assists. Anthony Randolph added 22 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which was without Kevin Love for the second straight contest. The Timberwolves have now dropped nine straight games overall and 12 straight to the Thunder.
Leading by one, the Thunder opened the third with a flurry, scoring the first 10 points to extend the edge to 69-58 less than three minutes into the half.
Minnesota battled back with a 13-5 surge late in the third, pulling within 84-80 before Westbrook's jumper at the third quarter horn gave the Thunder a six-point edge heading into the final frame.
A three-point play from Durant moved the lead to nine to open the fourth, but Minnesota tallied the next eight points, trimming the deficit to 89-88 less than two minutes into the quarter.
With the margin at 99-97, Durant and Westbrook combined for six straight, extending the lead with just under four minutes left.
The lead was 10 a minute later, but an 8-1 swing from the home team found the margin down to three with 26.8 ticks left after Westbrook was called for an offensive foul and Beasley converted a layup to make it 110-107.
Durant answered with a dunk, but Barea buried a three-pointer to cut the lead to two before Westbrook went 3-of-4 from the line the seal the road win.
Oklahoma City led 34-31 after one, but went cold to start the second, failing to register a field goal over the first five-plus minutes of the stanza and allowing the Timberwolves to reel off a 9-2 swing and take a 40-36 lead.
Westbrook gave the Thunder their first field goal of the frame with a jumper and Durant buried their second with a three-pointer over a minute later to tie the game at 45.
It was 52-52 after the teams exchanged 7-0 runs over the next three minutes and Thabo Sefolosha's three-pointer with 28.8 ticks left sent the Thunder into the locker room with a slim 59-58 edge.
Love suffered a mild concussion and neck strain during a loss at Denver on Wednesday...The Thunder will travel to Los Angeles to meet the Clippers for the second of five straight on the road...Minnesota will head to Indiana to face the Pacers on Monday...OKC outrebounded Minnesota, 53-39...The Thunder have won seven straight and 10 of 11 games at Target Center.