Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/24/12
When Kevin Love hit a game-tying three-pointer with a second left in regulation, Kevin Durant smiled. Of all the things to do after your team has blown a lead, with the chances of winning before overtime as slim as any, to smile would seem like the least obvious choice. But Durant is a competitor, and this was a challenge. It was as if he knew what was to come, that he and his team would be able to wear down the Timberwolves, that two overtimes would be too much.And they were. After taking a five-point lead in the game's first overtime, the Timberwolves faded fast, allowing Oklahoma City to tie the game again and push it to double overtime. Once those final five minutes began, it was over. The Timberwolves never led again and went on to lose, 149-140."I think we ran out of energy," J.J. Barea said. "They just kept attacking, and Durant kept hitting some tough shots. We had the game won in that first overtime It's basketball. That's how it is."It was the most exciting game of the season, just seconds from what could have been the team's biggest win of the year. But really, it shouldn't have happened.Not in Oklahoma City on the last day of a grueling, two-week road trip.Not without Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, not without the team's top bench scorer, Michael Beasley.Not against Kevin Durant, who finished with 40 points. Not when Russell Westbrook tops that and finishes with 45.But it did. It took a combined 289 points and ten extra minutes of basketball for the best team in the Western Conference to finally silence the Timberwolves. It took a new franchise scoring record for Kevin Love read it, 51 points and a triple-double for Barea, the first by a Timberwolves player since Kevin Durant in 2007. It took 60 bench points in what was the team's best offensive performance of the season, and that the Thunder were able to overcome all those things proves that they're among the best in the league."It was tough," Love said. "We had chances to win the game. We had a couple calls not go our way. Kevin (Durant), Russell (Westbrook) and James Harden and the rest of their team made plays. That's why they're the top team in the West."Before the game, Timberwolves' coach Rick Adelman admitted he was worried that his team just wanted to go home. This seven-game road trip had been a cruel test of the team's mettle, and it went into Friday with a 2-4 record after hoping to hover near .500 on the trip. But Adelman's fears weren't realized, as his team endured 58 minutes of basketball as if it hadn't been away from home for two weeks.It was a night of shattered records, and Love's 51 points pushed him past Kevin Garnett, who held the previous franchise record for points in a game, with 47. He also sunk seven three-pointers, which was a career-high and the reason the team managed to push the game to overtime. But it wasn't just Love. It was Barea's 25 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. It was Anthony Tolliver's 23 points, the most he's scored since 2010. It was a team that realized what it was missing but didn't discount the talent it still had."Coach just said in the locker room, myself included, I'm proud of the guys right now," Love said. "They really stepped up. You know, we're shorthanded right now."The Timberwolves will fly back to Minneapolis Friday night and prepare for Denver on Sunday. The road trip will finally be over, and though Minnesota may not have done so well against the test it presented, it at least managed to go down with its best fight of the season. Its record during the stretch will still be 2-5; that doesn't account for Friday night's effort, and it shouldn't, but it's refreshing to see how much it takes to count Love and his team out of even the most competitive games.Love said postgame that he was encouraged by the effort his team put forth, and he hopes the team can remember what that felt like and put forth a similar fight in its final 17 games. However, it was hard for him to be excited, his downcast gaze and matter-of-fact analysis hallmarks of the frustration he exhibits after every loss. Even those 51 points, the seven three-pointers weren't enough to shake the nagging pain of the loss."It would mean a lot more in a win," Love said of his performance.Of course it would. And no one would expect Love to feel any other way.Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker