Kevin Martin, the Thunder's sixth man last season, had 24 points in his OKC return. But Martin had just seven points in the second half, when he made just one of seven shots.
“It felt different playing in this building,” Martin said. “It was fun, going up against that level of competition, going against the guys you went through the grind with last year. It was good to get it out of the way.”
When the Thunder went with a small lineup to open the fourth quarter, the T-Wolves' big advantage was at center, where the massive Nikola Pekovic was defended by Nick Collison.
But Collison hounded Pekovic into missing a fallaway jumper early in the period, and the Thunder mostly kept the ball away from Pekovic, who had just five points in the 6 1/2 minutes before the burly Thunder reinforcements arrived.
Minnesota coach Rick Adelman was displeased with the officiating. “I don't want to talk about it,” Adelman said. “He's real strong. He takes a lot of punishment. That's as far as I'll go.”
THUNDER BENCH CONTINUES ITS STRONG PLAY
Reggie Jackson was the ringleader of the Thunder's second-unit again on Sunday, putting up 11 of his 18 points in a clutch fourth-quarter performance.
But once again, the rest of the Thunder bench chipped in admirably.
Jeremy Lamb had nine points, Collison added six points and five rebounds and Derek Fisher defended Martin well in his 15 minutes.
Overall, the Thunder bench outscored Minnesota's 39-23, helping the team improve to 9-1 on the season when it equals or outscores its opponent's bench.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Thunder is 9-0 at home for the first time since moving to Oklahoma City. This recently completed 6-0 homestand is the longest perfect homestand for the franchise since 1978.
The Thunder is on the road for five of its next six games, starting with a back-to-back in Sacramento and Portland on Tuesday and Wednesday.