Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves ended Oklahoma City’s 12-game winning streak with a 99-93 victory over the Thunder on Thursday night.
In the nationally televised game, Love had 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as the T’Wolves handed OKC just their fifth loss of the year.
“I needed a game like that,” said Love, who has struggled with his shooting since returning from a freak hand injury suffered in October. “Since I’ve been back, I’ve felt like I’ve been shooting with my elbow. Coach has really stayed with me the whole time. We talked about me looking to get easier shots and shooting the ball with confidence.”
In addition to Love’s spectacular performance, the T’Wolves’ J.J. Barea added a much needed spark to the team’s offense, pouring in 14 of his 18 points off the bench in the fourth quarter. Barea added four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 23 minutes of action.
During the game’s most pivotal stretch, the veteran point guard buried 12 straight points and almost single-handedly snapped the Thunder’s 12-game winning streak.
“I love it,” Barea said after the game. “We just needed a little bit more tonight, a little energy and I’m glad I was able to provide that for us tonight.”
For the Thunder — who came into the contest unbeaten since November 23 at Boston — Kevin Durant had 33 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
“It’s not the end of the world. A lot of people said the world is going to end today, tomorrow, but it’s not the end of the world,” Durant told reporters after the game. “We lost to a good team (Thursday). They came out and played extremely hard and they beat us. We’re 21-5 and we’ve just got to go back and work.”
Check out highlights from Thursday night’s Minnesota Timberwolves vs Oklahoma City Thunder matchup in the video below: