The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY–Andrew Wiggins didn’t have time to get near the basket for a final shot.
Just inside half-court was close enough.
Wiggins’ desperation heave banked in as time expired to give the Minnesota Timberwolves a 115-113 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder last night.
“I could see how much time was left,” Wiggins noted.
“I got as close as I could and let it go.”
Carmelo Anthony had hit a three-pointer with about five seconds left to give the Thunder the lead.
The Timberwolves were out of time-outs so they had to scramble. Taj Gibson inbounded to Wiggins, who rushed up the court and got free with help from a crushing pick by Karl-Anthony Towns before pulling up for the winner.
“Everything worked perfectly,” Wiggins said. “Taj found me. KAT had a great screen.
“When it left my hands, the release felt amazing.”
Gibson said the Timberwolves practice those kinds of plays regularly.
“We practice it six times in practice every day,” Gibson noted.
“Once I got the ball, my job is to take the ball out, be patient, look for the open man, look for the guy running the baseline.
“I was trying to get Jeff [Teague] but ‘Wig’ was wide open,” he added.
“KAT did what he was supposed to do, backscreen, and the rest is history.”
Thunder forward Paul George got knocked down on Towns’ screen, and it freed up Wiggins.
“I did see Paul go down but I didn’t have a great look to see how he went down and why,” said Thunder coach Billy Donovan.
“If it was an illegal screen, the officials will deal with that stuff,” he reasoned.
“For me, it’s about focusing on our team and what we have to do and what we could have done differently.”