Wolves use strong first quarter to end Thunder win streak - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul


Wolves use strong first quarter to end Thunder win streak

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The Timberwolves used a strong first quarter to set the tone, then battled the Oklahoma City Thunder til the buzzer picking up a 99-93 win over the best team in the Western Conference and in the process snapping their 12 game winning streak.

"Very good win against the best team in the west," said head coach Rick Adelman. "What I really liked about it is we played four quarters. We knew they were going to make a run at us. Got some stops, made some shots down the stretch, just a terrific win for our guys."

Rookie Alexey Shved picked up his first double-double of his NBA career scoring 12 points and registering 12 assists, a high water mark for the team.

"He's been in big games before," said Adelman. "He's going to have games in this league where it's going to be tough for him. It's how you respond to it and yesterday I know talking to my son David who worked him out, he had a great workout."

The ball movement in the first half was the story of the game. The Wolves finished the first half with 20 assists setting the tone.

J.J. Barea scored 18 points including eight straight in the fourth quarter to keep the Thunder at arms length.

"It was awesome, after two tough losses on the road it showed a lot about this team," said Barea. "I felt we needed a run from somebody and I just got in a good rhythm with a couple of shots. I just stayed aggressive and it worked out.

Kevin Durant scored 33 points, but each of his points were contested well by Andrei Kirilenko who played marvelous defensively.

"It's a tough team to play, they are probably the best team in the NBA right now at this moment. They are playing tremendous basketball," said Kirilenko. "I think tonight, we did our homework."

Nikola Pekovic continued his strong play finishing with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

"Pek was going hard to the rim. The way they were playing it was they were worried about Kevin. They were worried about getting to him and Pek was open but you got to give the guards credit. They really found him. They found him late, they didn't go to him early."

Kevin Love led the team with 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the win and seemed to find his shooting touch from beyond the arc as he finished four-for-nine.

"One day I wake up and it feels great, and the next day I feel like I'm shooting with my elbow," said Love about struggling from the floor since returning from a broken hand. "It's been a struggle to try to get it back but the one thing you can't do in this league is lose your confidence and I've tried not to."

The win boosts the Wolves record to 13-11, their best winning streak through 24 games since the 2005-2006 season.

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