Inside one locker room sat a player who had just set a single-game franchise record for points scored, while four chairs away sat a teammate who had collected his first career triple-double with 25 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
And this was on the losing team.
Inside the victorious locker room across the hallway were teammates who scored 40-plus points in the same game for the second time this season — a feat that had never happened before in NBA history.
There's really no way to sufficiently detail the Thunder's heart-thumping 149-140 double-overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, so players became members of the mutual admiration society.
"They had to play perfect to the end," said Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea, the man with his first triple-double. "It took them two overtimes to beat us, and they're the best team in the West."
Minnesota power forward Kevin Love, who (allegedly) played center in place of injured starter Nikola Pekovic (sore left ankle), set the franchise record with 51 points, shooting 16 for 27 from the field, 7 for 11 from 3-point range, 12 for 16 from the free-throw line and also added 14 rebounds.
"As a team collectively, they did a good job," Love said of OKC. "That's why they're the top team in the West, they make things happen down the stretch."
Love and Barea heaped praise upon teammates while deflecting attention from themselves.
Love: "I'm proud of the guys. A lot of guys stepped up and played a hell of a game. We just came up short in the end."
Barea: "Kevin Love was a monster. He played amazing. He put us on his back. He gave us a chance to win, and that's what we want every night."
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, Love's close friend and former teammate at UCLA, finished with a career-high 45 points while fellow All-Star Kevin Durant added 40 points that included heroic 3-pointers in the closing seconds of regulation and the first overtime.
There also were some stout performances from backups on both sides.
Reserve forward Anthony Tolliver had 23 points and seven rebounds, while reserve guard Wayne Ellington had 12 points for the Timberwolves (23-26).
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