RECAP: D’Angelo Russell’s late offense leads Minnesota Timberwolves past Thunder

Feb 5, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Justin Jackson (44) goes to the basket ahead of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell (4) during the first half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Beasley scored 24 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 106-103 win over the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.

D’Angelo Russell scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, including the final five Minnesota points to help the Timberwolves snap a two-game losing streak. Russell nailed a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left.

Minnesota closed the third quarter with a 15-4 run to build its largest lead of the game, 85-76, entering the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves hit five 3-pointers in the final 3:33, including two each by Russell and Jaylen Nowell.

The Thunder chipped away to tie in midway through the fourth on Justin Jackson’s 3-pointer.

Oklahoma City went more than three minutes without a field goal, allowing Minnesota to jump ahead by six.

The Timberwolves had several chances to extend the lead, but Oklahoma City hung around.

After Oklahoma City’s Al Horford missed a 3-point attempt that was chased down by teammate Kenrich Williams, Horford drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie it with 26.4 seconds left.

The Thunder had a chance to take the lead after Hamidou Diallo stole the inbounds pass, but he missed a layup before Russell’s trey put Minnesota back ahead.

Diallo’s 3-point try at the buzzer hit off the front of the rim to give the Timberwolves their first road win since Dec. 26.

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The Thunder were playing with just eight players — the NBA minimum.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed his second consecutive game due to a left knee sprain. Luguentz Dort, who left in the first quarter of Oklahoma City’s Wednesday win over the Houston Rockets due to left knee soreness, was out Friday.

Theo Maledon, who started the last five games after George Hill injured his thumb, was held out due to health and safety protocols.

Horford scored a season-high 26 points to lead the Thunder. Diallo had 16 points and a career-high 10 assists.

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns for the 11th consecutive game after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Before the game, Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said Towns was “ramping up” his activity, but there was no set date for Towns’ return.

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–Field Level Media