OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Thunder had found multiple ways to lose close games this season.
Not this time. Chris Paul scored a season-high 30 points and Oklahoma City pulled off an improbable 139-127 overtime victory over the Timberwolves on Friday night.
With Minnesota ahead 121-119 and 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation, Oklahoma City fouled Karl-Anthony Towns. He missed a free throw, then Minnesota was issued a technical foul for a delay of game because Jordan Bell did not have his jersey tucked in when he subbed in. It was a technical because the Timberwolves had been called for delay of game late in the third quarter, and a technical is given on a second delay of game.
Danilo Gallinari made the technical free throw for Oklahoma City, then Towns shot his second free throw at the other end. He made it, putting Minnesota up two but giving Oklahoma City a chance at a throw-in. The Thunder would have had to scramble if Towns had missed because they were out of timeouts. Steven Adams took advantage of the unexpected opportunity and completed a nearly length-of-the-court pass to Dennis Schroder, who made a layup as time expired to force overtime.
It left the Thunder celebrating and the Timberwolves stunned.
“I ain’t ever been part of something like that,” Towns said. “I’ve been a part of a lot of basketball games in my life, but I’ve never seen something like that happen … just the execution of everything going down.”
Bell was in no mood to discuss it after the game. He walked past a group of reporters and said, “I'll save my money.”
Towns said he was trying to miss the second free throw, but that — and everything else — went haywire in that final sequence during regulation.