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OKC Thunder: Timberwolves dominate Thunder

Nikola Pekovic scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves to a 101-93 victory against the Thunder, which was trounced in just about every way.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 29, 2013
/articleid/3778082/1/pictures/1998061">Photo - Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams, center, lays up a shot as Oklahoma City Thunder's Kendrick Perkins, left, defends and Thabo Sefolosha, right, of Switzerland, watches in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 29, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) ORG XMIT: MNJM105
Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams, center, lays up a shot as Oklahoma City Thunder's Kendrick Perkins, left, defends and Thabo Sefolosha, right, of Switzerland, watches in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 29, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) ORG XMIT: MNJM105

“We gave up too many offensive rebounds,” Brooks said. “That's something that we're trying to correct and we do it but not at a consistent level. We have to figure out that part of our defense. That's when we're really good, when we finish that defense up with a rebound. Tonight that wasn't the case.”

As good as Pekovic was on the inside, Ricky Rubio was every bit as good on the outside, complementing his big man by masterfully running the offense. Rubio scored 17 points with seven assists and just two turnovers.

“The ball was getting wherever it wanted to go tonight,” Brooks said of Minnesota's ball movement.

Oklahoma City, on the other hand, had as many turnovers (16) as assists, although Russell Westbrook dished nine helpers to go with his 18 points. Kevin Durant did all he could offensively, making 13 of 19 shots and all nine of his free throws for 36 points, the most he's scored since Valentine's Day.

But the Thunder's bench was outscored 33-17 in large part because Kevin Martin mustered just four points while missing eight of nine shots. OKC's second unit shot 7 of 25 from the floor.

The Thunder scored just 16 four-quarter points — 10 coming from Durant — and never had a lead in the second half, resulting in the second loss this season at Minnesota.

“They came out and played well,” Perkins said once more. “We didn't come out with the right mindset defensively and it came back to haunt us. We gave them a lot of confidence early and after that we tried to shut if off and it was probably too late.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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