Wiggins, Timberwolves steal Anthony's Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY—It was supposed to be Carmelo Anthony's first game-winner for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Instead, Andrew Wiggins spoiled the Thunder's celebration by launching a game-winner of his own, releasing the ball on a 3-pointer just as time expired to trump Anthony's late triple and lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 115-113 win against the Thunder in front of a shell-shocked crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Anthony finished with 23 points, including his basket with five seconds left, as the Thunder (1-2) took their second consecutive loss.
Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota (2-1) with 27 points apiece. Towns also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds. Jeff Teague added 19 points and nine assists.
Coming off one of his worst shooting performances in a loss to the Utah Jazz, Russell Westbrook shook off a slow start Sunday night to score 31 points, hand out 10 assists and nearly help the Thunder come back from a dismal start.
But even Westbrook's 15 fourth-quarter points—including a 3-pointer with 29.4 seconds left—couldn't help the Thunder surmount their sluggish start.
Though Westbrook hit his game-tying bucket with 29 seconds left, Towns answered with another bucket, sinking a layup with 8.9 seconds remaining.
As sensational as Westbrook was in the fourth quarter, it was the effort of center Steven Adams that kept the Thunder in the game as the rest of the offense struggled to find a rhythm.
Adams was instrumental in the first half, scoring 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting. The big man helped the Thunder outscore the Timberwolves 36-26 in the paint in the first half. He finished with 17 points.
Despite Adams' effort, the Thunder dug a hole early, facing a 13-point deficit midway through the first quarter as the Timberwolves picked up easy baskets.
Wiggins led the way for Minnesota with 10 points in the opening period.
Led by Westbrook, six Thunder players scored in double figures, wiping out three-quarters of discombobulated offense with a 14-6 run to open the fourth quarter.
For the second night in a row, the Thunder's early out-of-sync offense doomed the team.
The Timberwolves looked fresh, coming off a day's rest following a win against the Jazz on Friday night.
NOTES: After spending part of last season with the Thunder, F Taj Gibson returned to Oklahoma City as a member of Minnesota's starting lineup and put together an 11-point, 10-rebound performance. ... G Raymond Felton had his best game as a Thunder player, scoring 12 points. ... Thunder G Andre Roberson airballed two free throws in the second half, missed all four of his shots from the floor and wound up scoreless. ... Oklahoma City G Russell Westbrook finished five rebounds shy of his 81st career double-double.