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Thunder journal: Darius Bazley's clutch shots halt Timberwolves runs

Related coverage: Thunder vs. Timberwolves

Recap: Thunder 113, Timberwolves 104 Five takeaways from the Thunder's win at the Timberwolves 'You can't tell me he's a rookie': Lu Dort's offense keeps improving and so does the Thunder

Darius Bazley was responsible for two of the Thunder’s biggest shots Saturday night in a 113-104 win against the Timberwolves.

The 19-year-old forward flashed powerful drives and finishes at the rim, but his 3-pointer with 8:46 left in the third quarter was most meaningful. The long-range make snapped a 9-0 Timberwolves run.

Bazley and fellow rookie Luguentz Dort were the offensive heroes in a 39-point Thunder third quarter.

Bazley’s circus layup with just under six minutes left in the game snapped another Minnesota run.

Starting in place of Danilo Gallinari, Bazley shot 5-of-6 from the floor for 15 points and six rebounds.

Bench scoring

Dennis Schroder led OKC’s reserves with 26 points. The Thunder is 8-0 when Schroder scores 25 points or more.

Mike Muscala and Hamidou Diallo had double-digit scoring games off the bench. Diallo notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Thunder held a 52-20 bench scoring advantage.

Towns leads Timberwolves

Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns scored a game-high 37 points on 13-of-23 shooting.

Towns had 19 of the Timberwolves’ 22 points in the first quarter. He was responsible for half of the Timberwolves’ 48 halftime points.

Minnesota point guard Shabazz Napier recorded the most surprising stat line of the night, recording a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

Noel out after undergoing surgery

Thunder center Nerlens Noel underwent a successful surgery to repair a fracture to the zygomatic arch in his left cheek, the team announced Saturday.

Noel did not play at Minnesota. His status will be updated next week, according to the Thunder.

Russell Westbrook fractured the zygomatic arch in his right cheek in February 2015. He missed just one game. Westbrook returned five days later wearing a mask. He dropped 49 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists on the 76ers in his first game back.

Noel suffered the fracture during the Thunder's 140-111 win Friday night against the Hawks.

Roby announces arrival

Isaiah Roby tweeted Saturday that he’s “excited to be part of the Thunder.”

The Thunder acquired Roby from the Mavericks on Friday in exchange for center Justin Patton. Roby, the 45th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, averaged 9.2 points per game in nine games with the G League Texas Legends.

Roby will wear No. 22. Jeff Green, Mustafa Shakur, Cameron Payne, Taj Gibson and Devon Hall all wore No. 22 for the Thunder.

Injury report

Steven Adams was held scoreless with one rebound in 23 minutes. Adams missed the last two games with a left ankle sprain.

Gallinari, fresh off a 25-point and six-rebound performance Friday night against the Hawks, was held out Saturday night with a left thumb injury.

Gallinari hasn’t played on the second night of a back-to-back since Nov. 19. The Thunder is 7-1 without Gallinari.

Guard Terrance Ferguson was out for personal reasons. Ferguson hasn't played since Jan. 17. He's missed OKC's last four games.

Reserve guard Abdel Nader remained out with a left ankle sprain. Nader has missed the last six games.

Tip-ins

The Thunder has won its last five games on the second night of a back-to-back … OKC’s five-game winning streak is the longest in the Western Conference … The Thunder has won nine of its last 10 road games.

Related Photos
<strong>Thunder forward Darius Bazley, left, drives past Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie during the first half of Oklahoma City's 113-104 win Saturday in Minneapolis. [AP Photo/Craig Lassig]</strong>

Thunder forward Darius Bazley, left, drives past Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie during the first half of Oklahoma City's 113-104 win Saturday in Minneapolis. [AP Photo/Craig Lassig]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-987c2edd9760b27b180fb3f584f72f80.jpg" alt="Photo - Thunder forward Darius Bazley, left, drives past Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie during the first half of Oklahoma City's 113-104 win Saturday in Minneapolis. [AP Photo/Craig Lassig] " title=" Thunder forward Darius Bazley, left, drives past Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie during the first half of Oklahoma City's 113-104 win Saturday in Minneapolis. [AP Photo/Craig Lassig] "><figcaption> Thunder forward Darius Bazley, left, drives past Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie during the first half of Oklahoma City's 113-104 win Saturday in Minneapolis. [AP Photo/Craig Lassig] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e32056b42f32d23737ff5b70b071b73f.jpg" alt="Photo - Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]" title="Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]"><figcaption>Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9b88827448210774825fee39301ff802.jpg" alt="Photo - Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deonte Burton (right) drives to the basket against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) in the second quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]" title="Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deonte Burton (right) drives to the basket against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) in the second quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]"><figcaption>Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deonte Burton (right) drives to the basket against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) in the second quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7468fd85e3c267b7124c3288fa1d34e6.jpg" alt="Photo - Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6) and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) battle for a loose ball in the first quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]" title="Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6) and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) battle for a loose ball in the first quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]"><figcaption>Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6) and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) battle for a loose ball in the first quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eca847bad33c4660de7687ec30edab00.jpg" alt="Photo - Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (right) dribbles the ball past Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) in the second quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]" title="Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (right) dribbles the ball past Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) in the second quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]"><figcaption>Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (right) dribbles the ball past Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) in the second quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4548aee7915bf9234765885fcce78328.jpg" alt="Photo - Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan argues with referee Josh Tiven (58) in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]" title="Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan argues with referee Josh Tiven (58) in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]"><figcaption>Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan argues with referee Josh Tiven (58) in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c1aa1651f2eaaede3be0d3670d430779.jpg" alt="Photo - Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Luguentz Dort (5) and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) battle for the ball in the first quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]" title="Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Luguentz Dort (5) and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) battle for the ball in the first quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]"><figcaption>Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Luguentz Dort (5) and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) battle for the ball in the first quarter at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c93d01a804713ebff89a265498cb698a.jpg" alt="Photo - Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) looks on before the start of a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]" title="Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) looks on before the start of a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]"><figcaption>Jan 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) looks on before the start of a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. [David Berding/USA TODAY Sports]</figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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