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Associated Press , Published January 09 2013

Durant, Westbrook lead Thunder past Timberwolves

OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Durant scored 26 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 and the Oklahoma City Thunder overpowered the outmanned Minnesota Timberwolves 106-84 on Wednesday night.

After losing its last game on a buzzer-beater against a last-place Washington team saddled by injuries to its three top players, Oklahoma City left nothing to chance with the Timberwolves missing All-Star forward Kevin Love and four others.

The Thunder took control with a string of seven straight points early in the second half and stretched their lead to 24 before pulling Durant, Westbrook and the other starters with 5:44 remaining.

Alexey Shved scored 18 points for Minnesota, which announced earlier in the day that Love would miss eight to 10 weeks after breaking his right hand for the second time.

Nikola Pekovic added 17 points and 10 rebounds in the opener of a four-game road trip for the Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves were also without guard J.J. Barea (back spasms), who has given the Thunder fits since the Western Conference finals two seasons ago. Chase Budinger, Brandon Roy and Malcolm Lee were already sidelined with knee injuries for Minnesota.

Minnesota 16 26 22 20 – 84

Oklahoma City 16 31 29 30 – 106

MINNESOTA (84): Kirilenko 3-9 3-4 10, Cunningham 2-6 0-1 4, Pekovic 6-10 5-6 17, Ridnour 4-9 3-4 11, Shved 6-13 4-5 18, Williams 7-15 0-0 14, Rubio 0-3 0-0 0, Stiemsma 1-2 0-0 2, Hayward 2-4 4-4 8, Amundson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-72 19-24 84.

OKLAHOMA CITY (106): Durant 10-17 4-4 26, Ibaka 3-6 0-2 6, Perkins 1-2 0-0 2, Westbrook 7-14 6-7 23, Sefolosha 4-6 0-0 10, Collison 1-2 4-4 6, Martin 4-12 7-8 19, Thabeet 2-4 0-0 4, Jackson 3-7 0-0 6, Liggins 1-3 2-2 4, Maynor 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 36-76 23-27 106.

3-Point Goals: Minnesota 3-13 (Shved 2-5, Kirilenko 1-4, Williams 0-1, Pekovic 0-1, Ridnour 0-1, Hayward 0-1), Oklahoma City 11-20 (Martin 4-7, Westbrook 3-4, Sefolosha 2-2, Durant 2-4, Maynor 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Liggins 0-1). Fouled Out: Stiemsma. Rebounds: Minnesota 43 (Williams 11), Oklahoma City 47 (Durant, Westbrook 8). Assists: Minnesota 21 (Rubio 7), Oklahoma City 19 (Westbrook 7). Total Fouls: Minnesota 18, Oklahoma City 25. Technicals: Pekovic, Oklahoma City Coach Brooks, Ibaka, Perkins. A: 18,203