Wolves record: 1-2
Westbrook sparked a comeback with back-to-back steals on the defensive end and then scored the go-ahead basket for the last of his 14 points as the Thunder beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 88-85 Sunday night for their first victory in their new home.
Wolves coach Randy Wittman didn’t need a second look at the stat sheet to put his finger on the key.
“Twenty-five second-chance points,” he said. “That’s the difference in the game.”
That, and 19 offensive rebounds by the Thunder, and an 0-for-10 shooting night by Wolves point guard Randy Foye, who is 3 for 24 in his past two games and might be in danger of losing his starting job.
The Wolves led 73-63 with 1 minute, 19 seconds left in the third quarter and then scored 12 points the rest of the way. They allowed guard Russell Westbrook to show why Kevin Love’s former UCLA teammate was the surprise fourth overall selection in last summer’s draft, when they committed three successive turnovers in the quarter’s final 62 seconds on bad passes by Craig Smith, Mike Miller and Randy Foye.
The Thunder scored the quarter’s final seven points to pull within a basket, a turning point that Wittman called “huge” because of his team’s inattentiveness with the basketball. Foye, the Wolves’ starting point guard, committed five of the team’s 14 turnovers to go along with an 0-for-10 shooting night.