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OKC Thunder Rides Defense to Victory Over Minnesota

Russell Westbrook celebrates a dunk during the Thunder's game Wednesday. (AP Photo) Russell Westbrook celebrates a dunk during the Thunder's game Wednesday. (AP Photo)

Originally Published: Jan 20, 2010 9:22 PM CDT

Vitals | Recap

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – The Oklahoma City Thunder almost gave the game away with a costly turnover on an inbound play, but Jeff Green’s block with time running out saved the Thunder’s 94-92 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday.

With less than fifteen seconds left in the game, the Timberwolves (9-34) forced a steal and appeared primed to tie the score. But Green cut across the lane and came away with a huge block. With only a few seconds remaining, Minnesota was unable to put together a score on the ensuing inbound pass.

Green’s play was one of several important defensive stops for the Thunder (24-18). Serge Ibaka forced two key turnovers with the Thunder up by a slim margin, and Kevin Durant was one of the only Thunder players to step up on the offensive end.

Durant made three consecutive baskets midway through the final quarter to give the Thunder a six-point lead. But OKC could not score in the final two minutes of the game, allowing the Timberwolves an opportunity to come back.

Durant finished with a game-high 31 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Jeff Green scored 15 points and had nine rebounds, while James Harden added 12 points off the bench.

Four of the Timberwolves’ starters scored in double digits, with Corey Brewer leading the way with 25 points. Al Jefferson scored 20, Damien Wilkins scored 15 and Jonny Flynn added 10.

The Thunder started the game sluggishly on the offensive ending, shooting 8-of-19 from the floor in the first quarter. But Oklahoma City fixed that problem by shooting 11-of-17 in the second quarter to go into halftime leading 55-51.

The Thunder outscored Minnesota again in the third quarter, but could not repeat the feat in the fourth. OKC finished the game shooting 46 percent from the floor and 47 percent from 3-point range. Durant and Green each went 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Oklahoma City has won the first two games of its current four-game road trip. The Thunder will travel to Memphis Friday to take on the Grizzlies at 7 p.m.

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