Sun, Dec 08, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Buzzer-beating Thunder top Timberwolves in OT

BIG BREAK:The Thunder outscored the Timberwolves 17-5 in overtime. ‘We knew once we made the shot, we had a lot more work to do,’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said


Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroeder, left, drives around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie in their NBA game in Oklahoma City on Friday.

Photo: AP

The Oklahoma City Thunder had found multiple ways to lose close games this season, but not this time. Chris Paul on Friday scored a season-high 30 points and the Thunder pulled off an improbable 139-127 overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

With the Timberwolves ahead 121-119 and 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation play, the Thunder fouled Karl-Anthony Towns.

Towns missed a free throw, then the Timberwolves were issued a technical foul for a delay of game, because Jordan Bell did not have his jersey tucked in when he subbed in.

It was a technical because the Timberwolves had been called for delay of game late in the third quarter, and a technical is given on a second delay of game.

Danilo Gallinari made the technical free throw for the Thunder, then Towns shot his second free throw at the other end. He made it, putting the Timberwolves up two, but giving the Thunder a chance at a throw-in.

The Thunder would have had to scramble if Towns had missed, because they were out of timeouts. Steven Adams took advantage of the unexpected opportunity and completed a nearly length-of-the-court pass to Dennis Schroder, who made a layup as time expired to force overtime.

It left the Thunder celebrating and the Timberwolves stunned.

“I ain’t ever been part of something like that,” Towns said. “I’ve been a part of a lot of basketball games in my life, but I’ve never seen something like that happen — just the execution of everything going down.”

Towns said he was trying to miss the second free throw, but that — and everything else — went haywire in that final sequence during regulation play.

The Thunder were prepared.

“We actually practiced that specific situation a lot in practice, and to see it pay off is good,” said Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored 29 points.

The Thunder outscored the Timberwolves 17-5 in the extra period.

“We knew once we made the shot, we had a lot more work to do, and we were willing to do whatever it took to win,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.

Schroder scored 25 points for the Thunder, while Adams had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Gallinari racked up 21 points.

Jeff Teague scored a season-high 32 points for the Timberwolves, while Towns racked up 30.

Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said that the Timberwolves played well enough to win.

“We’re going to pick ourselves up and be better,” Saunders said. “But it hurts.”

Also on Friday, it was:

‧ Lakers 136, Trail Blazers 113

‧ Bucks 119, Clippers 91

‧ Heat 112, Wizards 103

‧ Pistons 108, Pacers 101

‧ Nets 111, Hornets 104

‧ Spurs 105, Kings 104

‧ Magic 93, Cavaliers 87

‧ Celtics 108, Nuggets 95

‧ Warriors 100, Bulls 98

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