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Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder 86 – Timberwolves 96 | Rapid Recap

The Thunder Guys

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Oklahoma City entered tonight’s game in Minnesota riding a three-game win streak, but the Thunder left with a bad taste in their mouths and an awful 86-96 loss to start a two-week, 6-game road trip. The Thunder trailed early in the game, but came back to take a 5-point lead into halftime. After that, however, it was all downhill. Minnesota made necessary adjustments at the half, and after the Thunder scored 34 points in the paint in the first two quarters, the Timberwolves held them to just 18 in the second half. Minnesota took a 6-point lead to end the 3rd quarter, and the Timberwolves never looked back after that.

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Second-Half Slump Seals Collapse

Oklahoma City struggled in the first half at times trailing by as many as 9, but they finished the second quarter on a 22-10 run to take a 5-point lead and a lot of momentum into the locker room at the half. It was Minnesota, however, that came out in the 3rd quarter with intensity, forcing Oklahoma City into 11 second-half turnovers, 7 of them by Russell Westbrook.

Oklahoma City did not shoot that great in the first half (43.8%), but a 34.2% second-half was the icing on the crap cake. The Thunder finished the game shooting 38.8% from the floor, which makes them 0-5 this season when they shoot < 40%. On top of the poor shooting and turnovers, the Thunder allowed the Timberwolves to shoot 46.5% in the second-half. While not all that impressive as far as high-efficiency shooting goes, Oklahoma City simply could not get stops when they needed to, and Minnesota continually found a way to put points on the board and keep their lead.

Westbrook Notches 19th Triple-Double

Despite having one of his worst games in quite some time, Russell Westbrook picked up his 19th triple-double of the season, a career-high for him and the most in the NBA since Wilt Chamberlain had 31 in the 1967-68 season. Westbrook scored 21 points on 7/23 (30.4%) shooting from the floor, including 1/10 (10%) from three, as well as 6/7 (85.7%) from the free throw line, to go with 12 assists and 11 rebounds. Unfortunately, he tied his season high in turnovers with 10.

While Westbrook’s triple-double numbers continue to be absolutely mind-blowing, there is no doubt that he would much rather have the win on a night like tonight. When it comes down to it, Russ is going to have to take better shots and trust his teammates more whenever the Thunder is trailing in a game.

Headed to Sacramento

Oklahoma City continues it’s two-week, 6-game road trip as it heads to Sacramento to face the Kings on Sunday. The Thunder lost to the Kings 101-116 in their only meeting of the season so far back on November 23rd in Sacramento. The Kings are 16-22 on the season and have lost 4 of their last 5 at home. Tip-off is set for 8 PM CST and will be televised on FSOK. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.

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