It was an amazing Christmas night here in Oklahoma City as the Thunder defeated the Timberwolves 112-100. The energy in the Peake’ tonight was just as good as ever. The crowd definitely did their part to contribute to the third win in a row for Oklahoma City, which ended with roaring “MVP” chants for Russell Westbrook.
The Thunder allowed the Timberwolves to hang around for a majority of the first half, and even let the lead slip away a few times. After a lot of back and forth possessions late in the first quarter and early second, the Thunder went on to have a four point lead at halftime. After taking the lead late in the first half, Oklahoma City managed to stay in control of the lead for the remainder of the game.
Second Quarter Surge from Bench
The Thunder were struggling in a back and forth battle early in this game, and trailed 21-15 when the bench checked in. The second unit rallied back to take a brief 33-31 lead due to the excellent defense and great possessions on offense. This team has shown just how much depth it has on several different occasions this season.
Alex Abrines had another good game tonight as he recorded 10 points on 3-7 shooting from beyond the arc. His contributions lately have been a major key to the Thunder’s recent success. He was joined by Jerami Grant and Joffrey Lauvergne who also knocked down some 3’s and shot a combined 6-9 from the floor for 17 points.
Stache Bros Have a Big Night
The Stache bros had their best game ever together as this was the first time they have both scored 20 or more points. Together they put up 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. The duo was absolutely deadly as Enes Kanter proved his post moves were too much for the young Minnesota big men to handle, and Steven Adams bullied his way through the paint for some easy buckets. The Stache bros definitely showed their worth as they helped glide Oklahoma City to this win.
Russ Saves Christmas
Russell Westbrook had another standout performance in tonights Christmas win with 31 points, 15 assists, and 7 rebounds. Westbrook brought his one of a kind intensity into this game when he picked up an early technical foul which brought the already jacked up home crowd to another level. Russ did a great job at being the floor commander and found just about everyone on the team an easy look at one point or another in this game.
The technical foul received by Russ tonight was his 8th of the season. Each player is allowed 16 technical fouls before having to face a one game suspension. Westbrook is obviously no stranger to getting T’d up as he has faced that suspension before. It is likely he will face it again considering he is already halfway there with more than half of the season remaining. As much as I don’t want to see Russ face a suspension, I also don’t want to see him turn down his intensity levels.
The Thunder will be back in action next on Tuesday night when they travel to Miami to take on the Heat. The game will start at 6:30 PM CST and will be televised on FSOK. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram. Merry Christmas!