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Without Westbrook, Thunder Beat Timberwolves 100-98 - Apr 12, 2017


POSTED BY:
EUROBASKET NEWS
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Victor
Oladipo
With Russell Westbrook sitting out for the first time this season, Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said he just wanted to see his young role players play well without the center of the Thunder universe on the floor. Victor Oladipo (6'4''-G-92, college: Indiana), Domantas Sabonis (6'10''-F/C-96, college: Gonzaga) and the rest of the Russ-less Thunder did him one better. Oladipo scored 20 points and hit a jumper with 6.3 seconds to play to lift the Thunder to a 100-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. 'Because he was out tonight I was just trying to take a little bit of that role, that leadership role and lead by example and lead with my mouth as well,' Oladipo said. 'It was good. It was a good experience for everybody, including myself.' Oladipo also had nine rebounds and six assists, and the Thunder outrebounded Minnesota 54-35. Starters Taj Gibson and Andre Roberson (6'7''-F-91, college: Colorado) also sat out as the Thunder prepare for a first-round series against Houston. Sabonis added 19 points and nine rebounds. Karl-Anthony Towns (7'0''-F/C-95, college: Kentucky) had 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Andrew Wiggins (6'8''-G-95, college: Kansas) overcame a 1-for-11 start to finish with 18 points for the Minnesota. But the Timberwolves again struggled to get stops down the stretch and Wiggins missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as they lost their fifth straight game. 'Whatever your circumstances are, you've got to be ready to go,' Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. 'That's the way it is. So we had a long road trip, we come home and we've got to be ready.' After consulting with Donovan and the team's medical staff, Westbrook made the decision to rest for the first time this season. He was one of just six players in the league to have started every game. But after a break-neck year in which he broke Oscar Robertson's record for most triple-doubles in a season and helped the Thunder turn the page after Kevin Durant left for Golden State, the most relentless player in the league finally took a night off. Fellow starters Gibson and Roberson also took the night off, but the rest of the team took it to the Wolves in the first half. A 19-2 run in the first quarter helped OKC build a 22-point lead. After unveiling a new logo at halftime, Minnesota outscored Oklahoma City 29-15 in the third quarter to jump back in front. 'We had the lead,' Thibodeau said. 'All we had to do was get stops.' Oladipo's 3-pointer with 2:40 to go gave the Thunder a 97-93 lead, but Minnesota responded with five straight points, including Gorgui Dieng (6'11''-C-90, college: Louisville)'s corner jumper to go up 98-97 with 44 seconds to play. But Oladipo responded with his 21-footer, and Westbrook was the first one off the bench to greet him as the Thunder celebrated a confidence-building win. 'Never mind the outcome, but can we do the things that we know what we're going to need to do once the playoffs do start?' Donovan said. 'Because if we can't do them now, we can't expect them to do it in the playoffs.'
Courtesy of: cbslocal.com   




Kaleb
Canales
Knicks Hire Kaleb Canales As Assistant Coach - 6 hours ago
The New York Knicks have hired Kaleb Canales as assistant coach on the staff of David Fizdale. Canales has been with the Dallas Mavericks since 2013. Canales was briefly interim head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers after the dismissal of Nate McMillan in 2012. Courtesy of: realgm.com   [read more]

Kevin
Huerter
Kevin Huerter Out Two Months With Hand Surgery - 20 hours ago
Kevin Huerter (6'7''-G-98) has undergone surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right hand. Huerter could miss two months due to the injury. Huerter has been expected to be a first round pick. Huerter made a strong impression on teams at the NBA draft combine. Huerter averaged 14.8 points for the Terrapins, including 41.7 percent on 3-pointers and 50 percent shooting from the floor. Courtesy of: realgm.com   [read more]

Fotis
Katsikaris
Jazz hire Fotis Katsikaris as assistant coach - 2 days ago
The Utah Jazz hired Greek coach Fotis Katsikaris (agency: Stanislav Ryzhov ) as an assistant coach on a three-year deal according to Eurohoops sources. By becoming Quin Snyder's assistant, Katsikaris gets to be the first Greek coach to join the staff of an NBA team full time. He had previously been a member of the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers in Summer League tournaments. Throughout his career, Katsikaris, 51, has coached with various teams in Russia, Spain, Greece, and Israel....   [read more]


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