OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Darius Bazley made the tiebreaking layup with 1:16 to play after Oklahoma City had blown a 23-point lead, and the Thunder beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-118 on Saturday night.
The Thunder scored a team-record 83 points in the first half, but then had only 13 in the third quarter and Minnesota came all the way back to take the lead in the final period before Oklahoma City recovered.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points for the Thunder and Mike Muscala added 22.
Naz Reid scored a career-high 29 points for the Timberwolves, but missed a layup that would have tied the game with 2 seconds to play.
The Thunder looked poised to run away with the contest, opening the game on a 10-0 run before Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio hit a 14-footer two minutes into the first quarter.
Oklahoma City then raced to a 43-24 lead by the end of the period before notching another 40 in the second.
The hot-shooting stopped in the third quarter, as the Thunder were outscored 32-13.
The Timberwolves kept chipping away and went ahead 98-96 on Jaden McDaniels’ pull-up jumper with 9:44 remaining. A back-and-forth contest ensued, which included eight lead changes in the fourth.
Thunder: The 43 first-quarter points were the most the Thunder have scored in any period this season. … The Thunder were without Al Horford (rest) and Isaiah Roby (foot). … Theo Maledon, who scored 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, returned to the Thunder rotation after missing Friday’s game against Minnesota.
Timberwolves: Minnesota was without Jarrett Culver (left ankle sprain), Ashton Hagans (G-League assignment), D’Angelo Russell (right quad soreness) and Karl-Anthony Towns (health and safety protocols). … The Thunder’s 13 third-quarter points is a season-low for Minnesota opponents. … Jaylen Nowell scored a career-high 16 points.
Thunder: Visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.
Timberwolves: Face the Mavericks in Dallas on Monday.
(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)