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