NBA

Thunder Trump Timberwolves, 126-123

Thunder Trump Timberwolves, 126-123

On the second night of a road back-to-back, the Thunder displayed some grit, an encouraging sign as the latter half of the season begind

Don’t let the Timberwolves’ lowly record fool you: they have some serious young talent, who, when playing cohesively, can challenge any team in the league. And challenge they did: it took some clutch shooting from Durant and Westbrook to secure the 126-123 victory.

Westbrook and KD’s gaudy numbers have almost become pedestrian: a combined 51 points, 20 assists, and 17 rebounds on just over 50% shooting. Despite their huge nights, OKC’s role players stepped it up. Enes Kanter had 23 points and 10 boards in just 23 minutes. Anthony Morrow had 10 points, and Nick Collison chipped in 10.

“[Kanter] was big and we talked about that today with the guys coming off the bench that we were going to need their energy and their effort and for them to be ready to play,” Billy Donovan said. “I give them all credit because they all stepped up and played extremely well.”

Rookie Cameron Payne logged just five minutes before taking an elbow to the head. He left the game with concussion-like symptoms and never returned.

The Thunder improve to 35-13, three games ahead of the Clippers for third in the West. The Timberwolves fall to 14-33. Next up for the Thunder: tomorrow night against the Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

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