Towns, Rubio guide Timberwolves, 96-86 over Thunder
MINNEAPOLIS — Karl-Anthony Towns collected a double-double with 29 points and 17 rebounds and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-86 on Friday night.
Towns, who shot 11-of-17 from the floor and made 7-of-7 from the free throw line, also had three block shots in the win for the Timberwolves.
“There’s nothing better than a talented player with confidence,” Towns said. “Those are the most dangerous players.
“I think right now we have a lot of confidence. So right now we’re just rolling with it.”
Andrew Wiggins added 19 points and six rebounds, Ricky Rubio finished with 14 points, 14 assists and four steals and Brandon Rush ended with 11 points in the win for Minnesota (13-26), who picked up its 3rd straight win.
Russell Westbrook, meanwhile, recorded his 19th triple-double of the season with 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds to lead the way for Oklahoma City, which had its three-game win streak snapped.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Westbrook was collecting the most triple-doubles by any player in a season since Wilt Chamberlain had 31 in 1967-68.
The Thunder guard has now improved his overall triple-double tally to 56, which is three away from Larry Bird for 5th on the all-time list.
But it didn’t mean too much to him, given that Oklahoma City lost.
“It don’t mean (expletive),” Westbrook said. “We lost.”
Enes Kanter added 20 points and eight rebounds for OKC and Victor Oladipo finished with 19 points and five boards for the Thunder (24-16).
The Timberwolves outscored Oklahoma City 29-18 in the third quarter, while Westbrook struggled shooting the ball during that period, going 0-of-7 with 5 turnovers.
He had 10 total turnovers on Friday night.
“Just some miscues, my fault on my passes,” Westbrook added. “Some were open, some was not. But it happens.”
The Thunder won the rebounding battle 47-42, but Minnesota scored 33 points off of the 19 turnovers committed by Oklahoma City.