MINNEAPOLIS — The Thunder should finish with a better record than the Sonics posted their final season in Seattle. Oklahoma City’s 97-90 win over Minnesota on Sunday afternoon at the Target Center assured the record won’t be worse.
With a dozen games left in the regular season, the Thunder already has matched the 20 wins the Sonics posted last year. "That gives us a little hope. It makes us feel a little better,” said Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, who scored a game-high 30 points. "Obviously, we haven’t had the season we wanted to. But we’re getting better. We’re excited about that.” Nick Collison, in his sixth season with the organization, said notching the 20th win — a dominant performance in which the Thunder led by as many as 32 points and emptied the bench — is good and bad news. "When you have 30 wins or less, it’s all kind of the same,” Collison said. "We’ve had a couple of good months that maybe we haven’t had some other years. That’s good. But at the end of the day, our record is what it is.” Oklahoma City is 17-21 since New Year’s Eve, 6-5 in March and was a .500 team in January (7-7). "It shows how much better we’ve gotten, how much we’re dedicated to this whole organization,” Durant said. "Guys never gave up even though we knew we weren’t going to the playoffs awhile back. We continued to fight and get better. We didn’t play for lottery balls.” Just the opposite. Minnesota dropped into a last-place tie with the young Thunder in the Northwest Division.