MINNEAPOLIS The last time the Timberwolves played the Thunder, on April 14, they lost by five points, 115-110, and the game was within two points with just 16 seconds left.
The time before that, on March 23, it went to double overtime, another Timberwolves loss, 149-140. That night, J.J. Barea had a triple-double and Kevin Love scored a career-high 51 points. Barea finished with 25, Anthony Tolliver with 23, Kevin Durant with 40, James Harden with 25 and Russell Westbrook with 45.
And the time before that, to open 2011-12, it was 104-100 Thunder, on Dec. 26, 2011. Like that April game, it came down to the final seconds and was within two points with just three seconds left.
Those games, all three, could have easily been Thunder blowouts. The first, the Timberwolves had hardly hit their stride, and the next two, they were without Ricky Rubio. But somehow the games were closer than anyone imagined, the nearest things to moral victories the Timberwolves had last season. So it's no ...