The Timberwolves are still somehow under .500, but they continue to have no trouble with the Thunder, whom they’d already beaten twice this season. And the return of Paul George didn’t make matters any more difficult for Minnesota; PG-13 might have looked a little oxidized early on, but it’s hard to imagine how George’s 25 points, welcome as they were, would have made any difference on a night where Karl-Anthony Towns hit 15 of 27 for 41 points in barely more than 30 minutes. It’s like the game plan was to tie up Andrew Wiggins, and the hell with the rest of it. And Wiggins was indeed held to 18 points and -1 for the evening. But Derrick Rose loaded 19 more into the barrel, and Jeff Teague tacked on 16 more, and when the smoke had cleared, the Wolves had shredded the Thunder, 131-120, clinching the season series with one to play. Shooting 53 percent and making half your treys will tend to do wonderful things for you.
Meanwhile, OKC shot 44 percent and put up a ridiculous 46 treys, 18 of which actually made. Russell Westbrook’s 38-13 line helped, but only Nerlens Noel showed up on the plus side of the ledger, with a +9. And when you lose by eleven, well, missing 13 free throws might just have had something to do with that.
It gets worse from here on out. Thursday night at Portland, a place where the Thunder win once about every thirty years, then Friday at Los Angeles to take on the Clippers, and finally Monday at Salt Lake City. After that, there are only 15 games left.