A night after Minnesota failed to gain a four-game cushion over Oklahoma City in the standings, the Thunder ended the 2008 portion of the year on a very high note. Three players notched over 20 points, and OKC used a huge third-quarter push to defeat Golden State.
The Warriors jumped out ahead in the opening quarter and were leading at the half. Then the Thunder took over, holding the visitors to 15 points while pouring in 27 during the crucial third. Coach Brooks has been consistent in his approach, and it paid off during the last 12 minutes of play.
OKC withstood multiple Golden State flurries and came out ahead for the fourth time this season. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, watched as Dallas made another huge comeback on Tuesday night. Much like the Mavs did to the Thunder, Dirk Nowitzki carried his team to victory and kept Minnesota at six wins.
In both games the scores were 107-100, emphasizing how close the race should be the rest of the season. The Thunder need to catch a few breaks and keep the T-Wolves within view. This goal of catching and passing a Division rival takes a burden off the players, who are tired of losing. More importantly every victory takes away the talk of breaking the all-time loss record.
Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and Chris Wilcox dominated the action on New Years' Eve, and any OKC combination of three playing well together is starting to make some noise. Add in new addition Nenad Krstic, and the Thunder look that much different to the rest of the NBA. A few more games like this one, and no squad will come to the Ford Center with smiling faces.