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Oklahoma City Thunder: J.J. Barea, Timberwolves snap Thunder's 12-game streak

J.J. Barea scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and the Minnesota Timberwolves ended Oklahoma City's 12-game winning streak with a 99-93 victory over the Thunder on Thursday night.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: December 20, 2012

/articleid/3739344/1/pictures/1912354">Photo - Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrei Kirilenko, left, of Russia, defends against Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (35) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Target Center on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien) ORG XMIT: MNHF103
Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrei Kirilenko, left, of Russia, defends against Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (35) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at the Target Center on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien) ORG XMIT: MNHF103

The Thunder's issues Thursday extended well beyond Barea. He just happened to be the man who made OKC taste losing for the first time since Nov. 23 at Boston.

Defensively, the Thunder, by all accounts, performed pitifully.

Love scored a team-high 28 points with 11 rebounds. Wolves center Nikola Pekovic added 24 points and 10 rebounds. And guard Alexey Shved scored 12 points with seven rebounds and 12 assists. Shved's passing set the tone and helped the Timberwolves shell out 27 assists, 20 in the first half.

“Everybody got into an offensive rhythm,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks of the Timberwolves. “They had 20 assists in the first half, which is way too many. That ball was moving wherever it wanted to. We weren't stopping it from going where they wanted it to go.”

As a result, the Thunder never stood much of a chance. Oklahoma City never led, something that's never happened all season, and the streak seemed doomed from the start.

“We had a great streak, a great month going,” Brooks said. “But we lost to a very good team. We knew sooner or later they were going to get hot and they got hot tonight.”

Thursday's box score
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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