Russell Westbrook’s fans finally got to show their appreciation for his loyalty to the Thunder.
Westbrook had 26 points and 10 assists to help Oklahoma City beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-94 on Sunday night. It was Oklahoma City’s first home preseason game after opening with two games in Spain, then playing in Dallas and Tulsa. Oklahoma City’s crowd cheered loudly when Westbrook was the first player announced during pregame introductions, in part, because the former scoring champion and two-time All-Star MVP re-signed with Oklahoma City after Kevin Durant chose to leave for Golden State.
Westbrook was more concerned about the way the Thunder played.
”We are getting into the flow of things, trying to figure out different things we can use,” he said. ”It was good.”
Westbrook fired up the crowd when he got one of his typical blow-by layups in the first quarter and was fouled. He got the arena energized again when he uncorked a highlight-reel one-handed dunk in the third quarter.
Steven Adams scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half as Westbrook constantly looked for him. Victor Oladipo scored 11 points and Enes Kanter added 10 points and eight rebounds. The Thunder (2-3) will host Denver on Tuesday.
Thunder guard Anthony Morrow was not with the team because he was awaiting the birth of his twin sons. Thunder guard Alex Abrines left the game with a right hip contusion and did not return.
The Timberwolves played at Miami on Saturday, so Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine were among those who rested Sunday.
John Lucas III scored 18 points and Adreian Payne added 16 for Minnesota (3-2). The Timberwolves host Memphis on Wednesday.