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Berry Tramel: This was not Scott Brooks' finest hour

OKC THUNDER: Thunder pulls out a win over Minnesota thanks to stars' effort.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 23, 2012
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Fisher is right. Had he made a shot or two, there would have been no overtime. But had Brooks not asked Perkins to do what he absolutely cannot do — guard Love on the perimeter — the Thunder would have needed neither overtime nor a Fisher make.

Perkins played 23:44 with Love on the court, and Love scored 26 points during that span.

Sure, no one else was great against Love, who scored 25 points in 25:35 when Gran Torino was on the bench.

But Love's initial burst — 11 points the first 4½ minutes of the game — gave the Timberwolves a much-needed spark on a night that ended a seven-game, 13-day road trip.

Clearly, Brooks should have gone to the small lineup earlier. Maybe even go super small; make Love try to guard Durant. That would teach 'em.

Of course, Brooks did us all a favor. His decisions did produce an epic game. Maybe not as wild as that overtime game against Denver a month ago, but close.

Durant made a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left in regulation to give the Thunder a three-point lead and then a 3-pointer with 10.1 seconds left in the first overtime to tie the game. He called it “fun” and nerve-wracking.”

Westbrook scored 11 points in the final 5:36 of the overtimes, including a huge putback to cut the Minnesota lead to three with 36 seconds left in the first OT. He called it “fun.”

Love set a Minnesota franchise record for points but had just a solitary foul shot in the second overtime. He called it a “tough loss.”

“The stars were stars tonight,” Fisher said. “That's why those three guys were all-stars in the Western Conference. Fortunately, we had two on our side.”

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.