Thunder use 3-point barrage to beat Timberwolves 112-103
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder relied on strong 3-point shooting Monday night to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-103.
The Thunder set a season high with 21 3-pointers in just 37 attempts (56.8%). Eight of the nine players who entered the game for the Thunder hit at least one 3-pointer. Only center Moses Brown didn’t convert from beyond the arc, but he contributed 17 rebounds.
Reserve guard Ty Jerome led the way by hitting all five of his 3-point attempts. Gilgeous-Alexander was 4 for 6 from deep, while Aleksej Pokuševski and Théo Maledon each hit three 3s.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Edwards scored 16 points and Ricky Rubio added 11 points and 11 assists for the Wolves, who lost their second straight.
The Thunder entered the game averaging 12.8 3-pointers a game, putting them in the middle of the pack among NBA teams. Their 34.6 shooting percentage on 3s, however, was worse than all but four teams.
Leading by seven points at the break, the Thunder staved off two big Timberwolves runs in the third quarter to maintain their cushion. First, Jake Layman scored on a reverse layup to cap a 10-0 run that gave Minnesota a 60-59 lead early in the period.
The Thunder responded with a barrage of 3-pointers, one each from Pokuševski and Isaiah Roby and two from Gilgeous-Alexander that put Oklahoma City back on top 73-62.
Timberwolves coach Chris Finch called a timeout to stem the tide, and Towns responded by converting a three-point play. That keyed a 12-2 spurt that pulled Minnesota back to within a point.
But Pokuševski drained another 3 and Gilgeous-Alexander converted a driving layup and another 3-pointer of his own to keep Oklahoma City on top 83-76 after three.
Thunder: The team record for 3-pointers in a game came on April 10, 2019, when Oklahoma City converted 23 of 54 3s in a game at Milwaukee. … Jerome came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers in the second quarter. He was recalled from the G League Oklahoma City Blue on Feb. 25. In 11 games since his recall, the second-year guard from Virginia has made 21 3-pointers while averaging 27 minutes a game.
Timberwolves: The team announced on Monday that a limited number of fans will be allowed in attendance at their final 12 home games of the season. Tickets will go on sale to the public on March 31, with an April 5 game against Sacramento marking the first time fans will be allowed at Target Center in more than a year. … Edwards scored a career-high 42 points on Thursday at Phoenix. In two games since, he’s totaled just 27 points on 10-for-34 shooting.
Thunder: Oklahoma City returns home to face Memphis on Wednesday.
Timberwolves: Minnesota hosts the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.