MINNEAPOLIS -- Monday evening began with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul walking onto the Target Center floor with his jersey untucked, shooting something of a smirk towards the Timberwolves bench.
The reference, of course, was the delay-of-game call Paul lobbied for and got late in regulation in the Thunder's overtime victory over the Wolves in Oklahoma City on Dec. 6.
First laugh, last laugh.
The Thunder used a 29-19 third quarter to break open a close game. The Wolves made a Naz Reid-inspired run, but couldn't get enough stops in a 117-104 loss. It broke a three-game home winning streak for the Wolves (15-24). For Oklahoma City (23-17) it was the eighth win in 10 games.
Danilo Gallinari led all scorers with 30 points, including a three-pointer with 3:05 left that put the Thunde a 13-point lead. He was one of seven Thunder players in double figures, including all five starters. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 20 points, an amazing 20 rebounds and 10 assists -- the fifth triple-double in Thunder history.
Naz Reid led the Wolves with 20 points, all in the second half. Robert Covington had 18 and Shabazz Napier had 16.
Down 18 with just over 4 minutes left in the third quarter, Reid tried to bring the Wolves back, scoring 15 points in an 18-8 run over the next 5:44 to pull the Wolves within 94-86 with 10:21 left in the game.
But the Wolves couldn't get enough stops and couldn't close the gap.
The Wolves played very little defense in the first quarter, allowing the Thunder to shoot 66.7 percent.