Thunder snap 3-game skid, beat Minnesota 127-111

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 22, 2013 at 11:03 pm •  Published: February 22, 2013
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The Timberwolves never got closer than nine after that, cutting it to 120-111 on Luke Ridnour's two free throws with 1:40 remaining. It was just the fifth time all season that Minnesota eclipsed 110 points, and one of those came in overtime.

Greg Stiemsma and Ricky Rubio had 13 points apiece, and Ridnour chipped in 10. Rubio also had nine assists and five steals.

"If we play on offense like that every night, we're going to have better chances to win games. So hopefully we carry this on to the next game," Barea said.

Oklahoma City's midseason swoon had come on suddenly after a run of four straight wins by at least 20 points that matched a franchise record.

"It was good to get a win. We had a tough little stretch there. It happens, though, so I'm glad we were able to get out of that little funk we were in and get a W," Durant said. "We still can be a lot better."

Neither team put up much resistance in the first half, with both teams shooting over 60 percent through the first 21½ minutes before a stretch when Minnesota missed six out of seven shots to allow Oklahoma City to expand its lead to 66-58 at halftime.

The Thunder led by as many as 13 midway through the second quarter, but the Timberwolves were able to trim the deficit to 57-54 after making 10 of 11 attempts from the field. In the first half, Minnesota's reserves were a combined 16 for 18 from the field and the team overall was 23 for 43.

Oklahoma City clamped down a bit to start to create some breathing room, and Minnesota went just 12 of 30 to start the second half while falling further behind.

"We know we have 27 games to figure it out, so we just have to keep taking steps in those kind of situations and just get better," Martin said.

"We have to get better. We know that," he added. "But we will."

NOTES: After trading away Eric Maynor, Oklahoma City is down to only two point guards on the roster. If Westbrook and backup Reggie Jackson both get into foul trouble, Brooks said he likes the option of putting Durant at the point. "He's actually handled the ball more this year, bringing the ball up. As his career continues to evolve, he's going to be a point forward," Brooks said. "And I think this year — even a little bit last year, but this year more — hopefully next year it's going to be even more. It just helps all of us. It takes the pressure off our ball-handlers when he's able to bring up the ball." ... Brooks said new addition Ronnie Brewer should get in a film session during practice Saturday. ... Oklahoma City, which lost its last game at Chesapeake Energy Arena to Miami, hasn't lost consecutive home games since dropping two of the first three games of the 2010-11 season.