MINNEAPOLIS - Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder have learned how to close out tight games.
Finishing is a skill the young Minnesota Timberwolves are still working on.
Durant scored 30 points, including 20 in the second half, and grabbed 11 rebounds and Oklahoma City came from 19 points down to beat Minnesota, 111-103, on Wednesday night.
Russell Westbrook added 25 points and eight assists for the Thunder.
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Thabo Sefolosha had 13 points for Oklahoma City, which is 12-2 this season in games decided by eight points or fewer.
“We’ve been through a lot,” Durant said. “We’ve lost games down the stretch, won games down the stretch. We’ve won big, we’ve lost big. So, we’ve been through a lot and we’ve learned a lot in those times. We were able to come out here and get a good win.”
Former UCLA star Kevin Love posted his eighth consecutive double-double with 22 points and 21 rebounds for Minnesota, giving him five of the NBA’s 10 20-20 efforts this season.
Michael Beasley scored 26 points, but went 1-for-5 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter as the Timberwolves lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
Love and Beasley went a combined 3-for-18 from the field in the fourth quarter.
In contrast to Oklahoma City’s dominance in close contests, Minnesota is 1-8 in games decided by eight points or fewer.
“We were very upset,” Love said. “Guys are pretty good about not accepting losing and I think that’s going to add more hunger to our team to keep getting better.”