Minneapolis, MN, United States (4E Sports) – Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic racked up double-double while J.J Barea scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Minnesota Timberwolves bested the Oklahoma City Thunder, 99-93, Thursday night at Target Center.
The Wolves stopped the hottest team in the NBA on their home floor, rallying behind their solid frontline tandem of Love and Pekovic and fourth quarter explosion from Barea.
Coming off back-to-back setbacks at the hands of the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat, the Wolves returned home and came out aggressively in the opening minutes and took a 30-18 at the end of the first quarter.
The Wolves continued to control playin the second quarter and headed into the locker room with a 53-44 advantage.
But the Thunder didn’t back down. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook sparked a huge rally in the third to shred the Wolves’ lead to single digit.
The Thunder even moved within a single point, 76-75, behind a 6-0 start in the fourth quarter. However, everything changed upon the arrival of the Puerto Rican blur.
Coming into the fourth with just 4 points, Barea single-handedly destroyed the defending Western Conference champion with a barrage of three-pointers and resilient defensive effort on the other end of the floor.
The Thunder dynamic tandem of Durant and Westbrook just could not stop Barea..
Durant finished with 33 points and Westbrook tallied 30 for the Thunder, who dropped only their fifth contest in 26 games. The Wolves improved to 13-11.