Thunder Reserves Help Build Big Lead Late

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 25, 2011 9:46 PM CDT

Gerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Seven Oklahoma City players finished with double-digit scoring totals Friday as Oklahoma City topped Minnesota 111-103, finishing off the season sweep against the division foe.

The Timberwolves threatened in the third quarter, cutting the lead to single digits heading in the fourth, but Oklahoma City dominated the closing 12 minutes.

Trailing 74-58 at the eight minute mark of the third quarter, Minnesota made its move. Sparked by a three-pointer from Michael Beasley, the Timberwolves outscored Oklahoma City 22-8 for the next seven minutes and 30 seconds – with a tip-in from Darko Milicic cutting the lead to 80-82.

However, Kevin Durant knocked down three-pointers on consecutive possessions, with a Milicic layup in between, to take the lead back to six points to start the fourth quarter.

Nazr Mohammed, who started the quarter with four points, scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, pushing the Oklahoma City lead back to double-digits with nine minutes left on the clock. Minnesota’s Wayne Ellington knocked down a three-pointer, but the Thunder responded with another five unanswered – including two more from Mohammed – to take a 98-85 lead halfway through the fourth quarter.

A Mohammed three-point play just 45 seconds later put the Thunder over the 100-point mark for the contest and put the game out of reach.

Minnesota outscored the Thunder 14-6 in the closing 2:45 of the contest, but could only manage to cut the lead to eight points.

Anthony Randolph recorded a double-double on the night, including a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds in the loss. Beasley did his part as well, scoring 20 points and grabbing eight rebounds, but turned the ball over seven times.

Durant set the pace for Oklahoma City with 23 points and four assists. Point guard Russell Westbrook contributed 19 points and eight assists and Serge Ibaka managed yet another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Mohammed contributed big off of the bench, scoring 14 and grabbing seven rebounds in just 18 minutes of action.

The Thunder will take two days off before finishing off another season series, taking on the Portland Trailblazers at 7 p.m. Sunday.