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OKC Thunder tops short-handed Minnesota

Five Thunder players score in double figures, led by Kevin Durant's 26 points.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 5, 2014

/articleid/3931070/1/pictures/2338593">Photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) reacts beside Minnesota's Ronny Turiaf (32) after making a basket during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma CIty Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Oklahoma City won 106-97. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) reacts beside Minnesota's Ronny Turiaf (32) after making a basket during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma CIty Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Oklahoma City won 106-97. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Without his reliable post players, pass-first point guard Ricky Rubio became more assertive as a scorer. He took 10 shots in the opening period and finished with a team-high 19 points on 6-for-12 shooting. But he had little help.

Wolves forward Dante Cunningham scored a season-high 18 points with eight rebounds, and J.J. Barea, with 11 points off the bench, was the only other Wolves player in double figures.

Former Thunder guard Kevin Martin, Minnesota's second-leading scorer, was held to eight points on 4-for-10 shooting thanks in large part to smothering defense by Thabo Sefolosha. Martin did not attempt a foul shot for just the fifth time this season.

Sefolosha's effort was one of the few defensive bright spots for a Thunder team that watched an undermanned Wolves team put up 54 points in the first half. A 3-pointer by Durant to beat the second-quarter buzzer was all that allowed OKC to take a two-point lead into the locker room.

“It's not something that we feel great about, our defensive effort,” Brooks said. “We have to make sure that we are committed every night on that end of the floor because that's who we are.”


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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