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Thunder Views: Lead changes, ties, and T-Wolves, oh my

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The rematch against Minnesota didn’t disappoint, but OKC’s consistency sure did.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the Thunder lost to the Timberwolves twice in one week. Both extremely entertaining games, both poor outcomes for OKC. 31 lead changes and 15 ties last night, but unfortunately no W.

Spotlight

With 8 minutes left in the second quarter, the Thunder were up by 11. Things were flowing well and Melo was eating with the second unit. But then it came to a stop. Turnovers began and empty possessions followed. Thanks to this lapse, OKC went into halftime tied at 59.

Carelessness with the ball will come back to bite you, and tonight it did. This was a perfect opportunity for the Thunder to extend the lead before halftime, but they forfeited the chance. You can’t beat good teams when lapses like this occur, and the T-Wolves made OKC pay. Take care of the ball!

Bottom line: consistency is key.

Quick Rumbles

  • Andre Roberson’s playing time is decreasing at a rapid rate. As a result he’s had a slow start on the defensive end, and it seems Donovan enjoys playing Josh Huestis, which gives OKC a nice advantage in terms of length. Roberson played just under 10 minutes last night, the least he’s played since March of 2015.
  • Four guys scored 20+ points last night (OK3 and Adams). All four of them shot 50% or higher from the field.
  • Donovan went with an 11 man rotation early tonight. Even though Terrance Ferguson only played three minutes, it’s nice to have the option to run that deep if need be — plenty of teams don’t have that luxury.
  • Russ seemed to have a somewhat-open look on the final possession, but dished it off to Melo instead. Still is bizarre watching him pass on shots like that.
  • Jerami Grant is still jumping very high:
  • Thankfully the Thunder made it safely to Chicago. Their plane wasn’t looking so hot when they touched down early this morning.

A look Ahead

The Thunder immediately travel to the United Center to face off against the Bulls in the second game of this back-to-back set. Although Chicago isn’t the most impressive bunch, this is a big game for OKC’s confidence and getting back on the right track. They’ll need to take advantage of the favorable matchup.

Expectations were not high entering the season, but that doesn’t make the Bulls’ messy start any better. They were able to get their first win of the year on Thursday night against the Hawks, but the focus still remains on the interesting debacle between Bobby Portis and Nikola Mitotic.

It has taken some attention away from the play of rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 20-year-old Finnish forward seems to be the only source of promise for this years’ Bulls. Although Jrue Holiday and Robin Lopez have been the leading scorers for Chicago, keep an eye on Markkanen tonight.

The last back-to-back for the Thunder resulted in two losses, so hopefully OKC can find a win in the Windy City to avoid another 0-2 slate.