Thunder takes win in final quarter

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Thunder takes win in final quarter

Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and the Minnesota Timberwolves were ganging up on Kevin Durant, and a rare three-game losing streak for the Oklahoma City Thunder was just over the horizon. Durant’s sidekick was on the bench in street clothes, leaving him isolated again.

Frustrated from a poor start, Durant came out swinging in the fourth quarter and knocked the Timberwolves out with a fury.

Barking at and mean-mugging the feisty Wolves, Durant scored 23 of his season-high 48 points in the fourth quarter and hit the winner with 4 seconds to play to rally the Thunder from 13 points down to a 115-111 victory on Saturday night.

“I just hear a lot of stuff, and I just wanted to come through for my team in the fourth quarter,’’ Durant said, an apparent shot at some trash talk he heard from the Wolves’ bench.

Durant went 7 for 11 from the field and hit four 3-pointers in the final quarter to help the Thunder rebound from two straight losses at home.

Love played the entire second half and finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for the Wolves. But he missed four free throws in the final 27 seconds to let this one slip away. The last three came when he was fouled on a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to go and the Wolves down two.

After Durant hit a step-back jumper from 18 feet right over Dante Cunningham’s outstretched arm to give the Thunder a 113-111 lead, Love was fouled on a 3-pointer by Kendrick Perkins. Perhaps a little gassed from the work load, Love missed the first two free throws and his on-purpose miss on the third one didn’t hit the rim, giving Oklahoma City the ball.

“I was more upset about the first one I missed,” Love said. “I left it short. I think they were flat and short. There was no real air under them. Just missed them.”

Durant knocked down two more free throws, and the two stars embraced after the final horn, a thrilling duel just finished.

AP

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