Hungry like the Wolves

The scary part of that first quarter was not that Minnesota had jumped out to a 21-8 lead — the Thunder would make up most of that deficit before the quarter ended — but the sensation that OKC was focusing, not on the opponent at hand, but on the opponent to come. That way lies, if not necessarily madness, certainly a lot of lead changes, and 47 minutes into the game things were still decidedly undecided: in that last minute Karl-Anthony Towns bagged back-to-back buckets to put the Wolves up 96-94. Then with 10.8 seconds left, weirdness struck: Towns looked like he goaltended a Kevin Durant floater, but it was ruled that he didn’t, and Steven Adams got credit for a stickback to tie it up. But Ricky Rubio drained a trey 0.2 before the horn, and that was that: Minnesota 99, Oklahoma City 96, the Wolves’ first win in four tries against the Thunder this year and their first win in OKC in seven years.

It did not help that Andre Roberson tweaked his ankle in the second quarter and did not return. And it definitely did not help that Serge Ibaka played 20 minutes, scored absolutely nothing, and fouled out. For the most part, the Thunder were efficient at clearing the boards, 54-37 on rebounds, but they were otherwise outworked by the Wolves, and there’s always the question of how you survive after 24 turnovers. (Only once have the Thunder done worse than that this season, against the Rockets, and they lost that one too.) At least Enes Kanter was around to collect a double-double (17 points/14 rebounds), and the Durant/Westbrook Axis of Amazing managed 54 points, but gave up the ball 11 times. Meanwhile, while all the talk in Minnesota is about Towns or Andrew Wiggins, the solid rock this evening was Gorgui Dieng, 7-12 from the floor and 11-11 from the stripe for 25 points. (Wiggins finished with 20, Towns with 17.)

Oh, and that opponent to come? The Spurs. In San Antonio. Tomorrow night. When was the last time the Spurs lost a game at home? Hint: it wasn’t this season.


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