Postgame: Wolves stop that streak at 12, beat OKC
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- December 21, 2012 - 3:24 AM
Twelve was the number Thursday night at Target Center.
They ended Oklahoma City's 12-game winning streak, dating to the day after Thanksgiving, with a wire-to-wire 99-93 victory.
It was also their first victory over the Thunder after losing the last 12 between the teams, dating to 2009.
Here's the game story from Thursday night. focusing on J.J. Barea's big fourth quarter, when he scored 12 straight for the Wolves.
Here's the notebook with the top item about Ricky Rubio's third night back from that knee surgery.
And here's a piece on the team waiving Josh Howard Thursday because of that torn ACL and what they might do now.
Here's a few other quick teams from the game:
* Did you see that ball movement, particularly in the first half?
That's why that advance scout from another NBA team watched the Wolves play in New Orlenas last week and remarked that they look like a mini-version of the Spurs, because of the way they execute Rick Adelman's offense.
They had 22 made field goals in the first half, and recorded assists on 20 of them. Alexey Shved had eight of those, and he finished with a career-high 12.
"That's the best half we've had: 20 assists, five turnovers," Rick Adelman said. "The first half was terrific the way we moved the ball, very unselfish."
Nikola Pekovic scored 18 of his 24 points in that first half, just setting screens and rolling to the basket time after time.
When everybody left the locker room afterward the game except him for him and Barea, I got a laugh out of the big fella when I ask why he didn't pivot and roll to his locker room when he went to retrieve his jacket before heading into the night.
* Kevin Durant scored 33 points, and Andrei Kirilenko still did a fine job shadowing him all night.
Whenever Durant was on the floor, so was Kirilenko, except for about a minute, 45 seconds. AK played 39:30, Durant more than 41 minutes.
"It kind of wears him out, but I told him next game you got an easy one in Anthony," Adelman said, referring to New York's Carmelo Anthony on Sunday. "He's had LeBron, Durant and now Anthony."
* Kevin Love looked more like the guy you saw score 51 points in that double-overtime loss at OKC last March. He found his three-point touch (4-9), moved the ball for seven assists and scored 28 and grabbed 11 rebounds.
"I thought he was terrific," Adelman said. "He was really active. He was aggressive taking his shot. I think he's been holding back a little bit, trying to make things happen, thinking too much about it instead of just going out playing. I really like the way he passed the ball tonight."
* They finally made some three-point shots, going 9 for 20 Thursday after going 17 for 65 in their last three games before that.
"I told the coaches we'll frame this one," Adelman said. "Nine for 90 is like a dream for us."
* And they helped force Russell Westbrook into a bad shooting night. He made just 9 of 28 shots, but still almost pulled a most rare quadruple double: 30 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists...AND 8 turnovers.
That's it from Target Center for the evening.
The Wolves will take Friday off so the guys can Christmas shop or whatever they want and will practice good Saturday before flying to New York.
Expect Brandon Roy to practice Saturday for the first time since his arthroscopic surgery last month.
Also expect my colleague Kent Youngblood to blog at you after practice that day and I'll pick the team back up on Sunday for that pre-Christmas matinee against the Knicks.
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