OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City may soon have to address the issue of slow defensive starts that lead to double-digit deficits. On Sunday, the Thunder just wanted to bask in another comeback win and another historical statistical performance by Kevin Durant.
Durant recorded his first triple-double of the season with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Thunder rallied for another fourth-quarter win, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-103.
Durant also added four blocked shots and four steals. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first NBA player to record 30 or more points, 10 or more rebounds, 12 or more assists, four or more steals and four or more blocks in the same game since blocks and steals became official NBA stats during the 1973-74 season.
"Kevin is a stat filler," coach Scott Brooks said. "He can do it all and he has the ability to have large scoring nights, rebounding, assists and steals and blocked shots. He's one of the few guys that can do that. That's what makes us a good defensive team, because he can guard not only his man, he can guard multiple positions."
Oklahoma City extended its winning streak to seven games, tops in the Western Conference, and moved to 9-0 on the season at home, matching the franchise's longest home winning streak to open a season, set in Seattle in 2004.
"You always want to play tough, aggressive defensive basketball for 48 minutes," Brooks said. "We didn't do it tonight, but we came back in the second half and made some adjustments and took care of the things we thought were important. We have to play much better going on the road."
Kevin Martin, in his return to Oklahoma City after joining Minnesota during the offseason, led the Timberwolves with 24 points, while Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Thunder have beaten Minnesota eight straight times at home, dating to the 2008-09 season, the franchise's first in Oklahoma City.
Minnesota led 83-78 entering the fourth quarter but wilted against Oklahoma City's defense, scoring just 20 points. Meanwhile, Durant had two of the Thunder's six 3-pointers in the quarter and finished off his fourth career triple-double. His previous three came last season.
Asked if a triple-double meant anything to him, Durant didn't even mention his stat line during his answer, focusing instead on his teammates' defensive effort.
"I'm glad we got the W," Durant said. "We came out a little sluggish on the defensive end early on, but they started off 80 percent (from the field). Holding them to 41 percent from the game was really big. I think our bigs did a good job of frustrating the two bigs on the other end. We kind of fed off their energy."