The Toronto Raptors handed the Oklahoma City Thunder their first home loss, 112-102, on Wednesday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 37 points on 13-of-22 shooting and 11-of-15 on the free throw line. Kyle Lowry almost had a triple-double, contributing 19 points, 13 assists, and 9 rebounds while Patrick Patterson had 13 points.
Russell Westbrook, who scored 36 points, was seen struggling beyond the arc, hitting only 3-of-12. The lone Thunder superstar expressed his frustration midway in the third quarter, slamming the ball on the floor, as he tried to spark a comeback. Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said that some of his players were overshooting beyond the arc, but did not specifically name any player in particular.
“We got caught in a situation where we took too many 3s, to be honest with you,” Donovan said.
DeRozan headed into the game as the NBA’s leading scorer with an average of 34.1 points. He almost tied Michael Jordan’s record of a six-game streak with at least 30 points, but was held by the Sacramento Kings where he only scored 23 points.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey admitted that it was a tough job for his team to stop Russell Westbrook’s explosiveness.
“It’s a five-man job, not one guy is going to stop him, I say that all the time,” coach Dwane Casey said about limiting the explosive Westbrook. “It’s on the team and I thought we executed our game plan, we wanted them to shoot the three and they did.”
However, with Westbrook as the Thunder’s lone superstar, the Raptors blitzed and trapped him, forcing him either play in a crowd or pass and rely on others. Victor Oladipo scored 18 points while Steven Adams established a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.
“DeMar did a great job of getting to his spots, getting to the free throw line, and Kyle did a great job running the team,” Oladipo said. “We’re going to have to do a better job next time we play them.”
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/Ximo Pierto