The Oklahoma City Thunder wrapped up their road trip on Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, their lone trip to Minnesota would be without a few key pieces. OKC missed Darius Bazley, George Hill, Josh Hall, Al Horford, and Lu Dort in this contest.
The two teams started this game by trading 10-2 runs, allowing the game to be tied 12-all at the six-minute mark. These two teams continued to go back and forth for the first frame, but flashy passes were on display for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Theo Maledon continued to show he is an advanced passer for his age, and Aleksej Pokusevski threw a dime across the court on a rope to Theo Maledon for an in-and-out three. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did his typical scoop layups that leave fans jaw dropped, and step-back triples that look effortless.
Moses Brown was just more physical than Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, even ripping away a rebound from the big man, but still, KAT dominated this game, pouring in seven of the Wolves’ first 14 points. Towns finished with 15-points in the frame.
The two teams were almost dead even in the first half, each team’s bench unit going blow for blow from Ty Jerome’s logo three to Svi Mykhailiuk’s massive slam (yes, Svi Mykhailiuk) it was a fun back-and-forth game for the entire first half.
Much like the game against the Rockets on Sunday, it felt like this was a four-point game the entire way. The Thunder finished the first half up seven thanks to the hot half of Ty Jerome. Off the bench, Jerome had 12 first-half points, on four-for-four shooting from beyond the arc, four rebounds, and four assists.
Aleksej Pokusevski looked a lot more comfortable in this game, save the unnecessary behind-the-back pass that resulted in one of the Thunder’s many first-half turnovers, Poku started the second half with a smooth contested jumper in the mid-range.
The Timberwolves went on a double-digit scoring run to start the third frame, then the Thunder answered with one of their own, continuing to go back and forth with the Wolves. When the dust settled after all the scoring runs, no one made any headway.
OKC entered the final frame up seven. Karl-Anthony Towns and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander started on the bench in the final quarter of this game.
However, quickly, the Thunder made headway going on an 11-0 run capped off by a Kenrich Williams deep three that did not even move the net.
Of course, Minnesota answered with an 11-2 run even after this game looked salted away, to get within eight with a shade under two minutes to go. With a pair of free throws, Minnesota got it within six with a minute to go. After a KAT missed three, SGA split the difference at the line to make it a seven-point game with half a minute to go.
The bench won this game for the Thunder, with 46 points off the pine, that was the difference-maker in this game.
OKC goes 2-2 on the road trip, stays perfectly in the middle also known as the team’s danger zone, and now look ahead as they return home to take on Memphis on Wednesday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was a star, and the Thunder won again!