As Wayne and Garth would then interject: NOT! A hundred twenty-four points were scored in the first 24 minutes, and things hardly slowed down in the second half: with 28 seconds left, it was tied at 113-all. The Thunder worked almost every last bit of the shot clock before Kevin Durant sank a 26-footer to put OKC up by three; Kevin Love fired one from the corner over Russell Westbrook to tie it at 116 with one second left. Durant clanked one at the buzzer, and overtime ensued. With 36 seconds left, Rick Adelman’s new and improved Timberwolves had forged a five-point lead; Westbrook and then Durant erased that, a J. J. Barea long-ball fell short, and the second overtime ensued. There would not be a third. “An absolute epic,” said radio guy Matt Pinto, and Game 48 ends with a 149-140 (!) Thunder win. (Telltale statistic comes early: OKC got 22 points in the twelve-minute fourth quarter, and 20 points in the five-minute second overtime. This is called getting it done, finally.)
There was reason to think it might actually be impossible to stop Kevin Love. He singlehandedly kept the Wolves in the first overtime, and finished with 51 points: 16-27 from the floor, 7-11 from beyond the arc, 12-16 from the stripe, and, oh, fourteen rebounds. Calling this a double-double is almost an insult. And J. J. Barea had a triple-double: 25 points, 10 boards, 14 assists. Six Wolves finished in double figures. You have to wonder what might have happened had Ricky Rubio (out for the season), Nikola Peković and Michael Beasley (lesser injuries) been able to play.
Or maybe you don’t. The Thunder made 60 of 113 shots for 53 percent, missed only one of 20 free throws, and Westbrook, like his old college chum Love, hit a career high: 45 points on 17-28 shooting. Durant put up 40 points (15-26) and grabbed 17 rebounds, the latter one short of a career high. James Harden, as ever, led the bench with 25. Incredibly, Scott Brooks played only nine men tonight: evidently he didn’t see anyone worn out and/or didn’t want to mess with the flow.
And here’s a number to conjure with: 63. That’s the number of 3-pointers attempted tonight. The Wolves made 14 of 36 (39 percent); the Thunder, 10 of 27 (37 percent.) Any more than that and they’ll have to cover the seats, not with T-shirts, but with flak jackets.
The Heat had little trouble with the Pistons tonight, so when they get here Sunday they should be in something resembling top form. Will this game be on national television? I’d bet Newt Gingrich is having it beamed to the lunar colony.