It might’ve seen like a minuscule move, but trading Justin Patton when they did could’ve been costly. Couple that with a banged up Steven Adams and a missing Nerlens Noel with a facial fracture, OKC was quite thin at center heading into their match up with Minnesota.
And the Wolves exploited it early. Karl Anthony-Towns scored 19 of Minnesota’s 22 points in the first quarter. But the Thunder youth movement took over. Darius Bazley had not one, but two highlight real dunks. The youngster had 15 points.
OKC managed to work out a halftime lead of four and came out on fire in the third. Chris Paul hit a jumper with a foul to open the third. Then Lu Dort went bonkers. He knocked down a pair of triples. He also added a massive slam. Dort finished with ten points. OKC put up a 39 point third quarter.
The Thunder kept it rolling too in the fourth. Hami Diallo hit a tough layup in the fourth. He added ten. But the Wolves didn’t go quietly. Karl Anthony-Towns hit a late three to pull Minnesota within seven with just over a minute to play. KAT poured in a game high 37 points.
Chris Paul wouldn’t be denied though, he hit a tough runner to score his 25th point of the night which helped the Thunder pull off a 113-104 win. It was the 9th win in their last 10 road games and fifth win in a row.
As a whole OKC shot nearly 50 percent from the field. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a tough night going 3-14 from the field for 11, while Dennis Schroder added 26.
Next up for the Thunder, they play host to Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks Monday night inside The Peake.