for this game

Durant leads charge as Thunder earn first win

Nov 3, 2008 - 5:06 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- The Oklahoma City fans waited two years for a team of their own. They only had to wait three games to see that team get its first win.

Kevin Durant scored 18 points and rookie Russell Westbrook came off the bench to add 14 as the Oklahoma City Thunder posted their first win with an 88-85 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

Jeff Green poured in 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting and Nick Collison chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who dropped their home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday and fell at Houston on Saturday.

"It feels good," Durant said. "Last year, it took us 10-12 games to get our first win, but to get in front of a great crowd like this, it's a good thing for us, and we just have to build on it.

"Everyone stepped up tonight, Russell (Westbrook) did a great job off the bench. Nick Collison hit a big time shot late for us, everyone played hard. ... We played well, and every time we step on the floor we just want to play hard."

After Al Jefferson hit a layup with 2:41 remaining in the game to give the Timberwolves an 85-84 lead, Westbrook came right back down the court and responded with a layup of his own to regain the lead for the Thunder.

"We're going to have to be scrappy to win games," said Westbrook, the fourth overall pick in the June draft.

"Any win feels good, honestly," Oklahoma City coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "It's very good to get a win in this building. It's very good to get a win the way we got it."

Jefferson led the way with 24 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota.

"It's a game we're supposed to have won," he said.

"We gave up 25 points second-chance. That's why it hurts so bad. ? No disrespect to the Thunder, but it was just a game we had in the bag and we should have won."

Neither team could manage to score again until Collison sealed the win with a running lefthanded hook shot with 16 seconds remaining in the contest.

Durant went 7-of-21 from the floor for Oklahoma City, which moved from Seattle in the offseason. The fans in the Oklahoma enjoyed a full season of NBA action in the 2005-06 season when the New Orleans Hornets made the city their home after Hurricane Katrina.

Minnesota led the Thunder, 73-63, after Craig Smith hit a pair of free throws with 1:19 left in the third quarter.

But Oklahoma City marched right back with a 13-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to pull to a 76-73 lead. Westbrook totaled five points in the spurt, starting it with a layup late in the third and capping the run with a jumper at the 10:08 mark of the fourth.

Durant and Collison combined for the next eight points for the Thunder as the teams' traded baskets down to the 2:41 mark.