I had the pleasure of attending tonight's game. I was definitely stoked to see Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder and had hoped that the Bruise Brothers could deliver a blow to the Russ-less Thunder for a needed win over a division rival.
Unfortunately, Durant exploded for 48 points and Kevin Love missed some crucial free throws in the final seconds to secure a Thunder win.
After the game, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune tweeted this out...
It definitely was a 'stunned silence'. It was a little bit eerie how quiet everyone seemed to be as hordes of people shuffled out of the Target Center and onto the skyways. Of course, there was plenty of talk about Kevin Love being 'a bum' and 'not a real superstar'--'the dude can't even hit the freebies!'. Just ignorant talk from the incredibly casual fans.
I was also stunned by something else! With 30.5 seconds to go, the Wolves were down by two points and Adelman called a timeout. So, it was our ball out of the timeout with half a minute to play and fans around me got up, put their coats on and walked out! Are you kidding me?! I understand not wanting to fight the crowds on the way out, but we had already watched 47.5 minutes of some great basketball from KD, Love & Pek and you're going to leave with plenty of basketball left to be played?! Makes absolutely no sense to me!
So, beyond the annoying little kids that kept squealing and kicking the back of my seat and the college-aged guys next to me that cheered and laughed with both Durant & Jeremy Lamb got hurt...it was a great game at the Target Center. I always have a great time when I go, but I honestly only like to go to 2-3 live games a year. I find watching at home to be a lot more comfortable.
The big takeaway for most from tonight's game will be Love's missed free throws. With 4 seconds to go, the Wolves were coming out of a timeout and down by 2 points. Love attempted a three for the win, but he was fouled on the arm by Kendrick Perkins and the whistle came quick (it was clear these refs weren't going to get caught up in any controversy after that Dallas game last week had the controversial end). With 2.2 seconds to play, Love stepped to the line with a chance to give his team the lead, instead he missed the first two and then missed the third intentionally in an attempt to give the Wolves a chance to rebound the ball and get the quick putback for the tie. Unfortunately his third miss didn't hit the rim and instead clanged directly off the backboard.
The Thunder inbounded the ball to Durant who was immediately fouled and he hit both free throws to put OKC up by 4 points and seal the W for his team.
It was a great game, but there were plenty of terrible calls from the referees--particularly against Wolves forward Corey Brewer. If you go back and watch the tape, you can clearly see that at least three of the fouls whistled against Brewer on Durant should've instead been offensive fouls. There was one where Durant elbowed Corey in the face and Brew was still called for the foul! Then, Brewer fouled out in the final seconds after Jeremy Lamb jumped on Corey's back, flipped over him and hit the floor hard (that was where the d-bags next to me stood up and actually laughed--it was really just...disgusting). The refs made a terrible call that netted Lamb two free throws in an incredible crucial moment of the game. Prior to Lamb's free throws, it was all tied at 109 with 30 seconds to play. The foul instead should've gone on Lamb as it was an incredibly blatant over the back foul. That would've sent Corey to the line for two free throws.
I wanted to go to this OKC Thunder game tonight because I've never seen Kevin Durant live and I definitely picked the right game to see him go to work. It was unfortunate he had to go off for 48 and our Wolves had to lose, BUT he was so much fun to watch. It's incredible because it seems like it comes so easy offensively for him, those threes he continued to hit with Brewer all over him were just insane!
The Wolves are back under .500 once again, but they'll have a chance to move back to even with a Monday night matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. Until then, thanks for reading, here's tonight's box score...
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!