The Toronto Raptors look to up their season record to 5-0 as they take on the Thunder at Oklahoma City tonight.
(4-0) Toronto Raptors @ (3-1) Oklahoma City Thunder
Probable starting line-ups:
Toronto – PG – Kyle Lowry SG – DeMar DeRozan C – Jonas Valanciunas SF – DeMarre Carroll PF – Luis Scola
Oklahoma City – PG – Russell Westbrook SG – Andre Roberson C – Steven Adams SF – Kevin Durant PF – Serge Ibaka
Toronto – PPG – DeMar DeRozan 20.8 RPG – Jonas Valanciunas 10.2 APG – Kyle Lowry 8.0
Oklahoma City – PPG – Russell Westbrook 30.2 RPG – Enes Kanter 11.0 APG – Russell Westbrook 9.2
Team Scoring: (with league ranking in parentheses)
Toronto – PF – 106.8 (5th) PA – 95.0 (6th)
Oklahoma City – PF – 118.3 (2nd) PA – 111.3 (28th)
The Toronto Raptors are now 4-0 after a 102-91 road victory at the Dallas Mavericks last night. Starting point guard Kyle Lowry led the way with a double-double as he poured in 27 points and dished out 10 assists. He also had 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. He shot 9 of 15 from the field, 5 of 5 from the free throw line, and 4 of 5 from the 3 point line. Starting shooting guard DeMar DeRozan tallied 20 points. He also had 4 rebounds and 2 assists. He was 6 of 13 from the field and 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Starting power forward contributed with a double-double as he scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. He had 2 steals. He shot 9 of 13 from the field and 1 of 2 from the 3 point line. Starting center Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 8 rebounds. He also had 2 blocks. He shot 6 of 10 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free throw line. The team shot 45.1% from the field, 88.5% from the free throw line, and 29.4% from the 3 point line. They out-rebounded their opposition 47-44. They turned the ball over 16 times and forced the Mavericks in to 15 turnovers. The Raptors started out the game outscoring the Mavs 31-25 in the 1st quarter. They went in to the half down 2 points but outscored their opposition 53-40 in the 2nd half. Tonight is the 2nd of a 4 game road trip. It’s also the 2nd game of a back to back. Last season they were 10-8 in the 2nd game of a back to back. Their next game is Friday at the Orlando Magic.
The Oklahoma City Thunder suffered their 1st loss of the season with a 110-105 defeat at Houston on Monday. Starting small forward Kevin Durant led the team in scoring with 29 points. He also had 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. He shot 9 of 19 from the field, 7 of 9 from the free throw line, and 4 of 9 from the 3 point line. Starting point guard Russell Westbrook notched a double-double with 25 points and 11 assists. He also had 8 rebounds and 2 steals. He was 10 of 16 from the field, 2 of 2 from the free throw line, and 3 of 6 from the 3 point line. Starting power forward Serge Ibaka contributed with a double-double as he poured in 12 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. He also had 4 blocks and 2 assists. He shot 6 of 14 from the field. Starting point guard D.J. Augustin chipped in with 12 points. He also had 5 rebounds. He was 4 of 9 from the field, 3 of 5 from the free throw line, and 1 of 3 from the 3 point line. Starting shooting guard Dion Waiters had 9 points and 4 rebounds. He shot 3 of 8 from the field, 2 of 4 from the free throw line, and 1 of 1 from the 3 point line. Backup center Enes Kanter produced 6 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He also had 3 assists. He was 3 of 8 from the field. The team shot 47.6% from the field, 68.2% from the free throw line, and 43.5% from the 3 point line. They dominated the glass as they out-rebounded the Rockets 55-34. They turned the ball over 24 times compared to only 12 turnovers by their opposition. The Thunder took a 11 point lead in to halftime but were outscored 28-14 in the 3rd quarter. Including tonight they play 7 of their next 10 games at home. Tonight is the first game of a back to back. Tomorrow night they play at the Chicago Bulls.
Last season Toronto and Oklahoma City split their 2 meetings. On November 4th 2014, the Raptors rolled to a 100-88 home victory. On March 8th 2915, the Thunder hung on for a 108-104 win at home.
This should be a very interesting match-up and a barometer for the Raptors to see how good they really are. Kevin Durant is back for the Thunder and he and Russell Westbrook are dominating thus far. I think this one will be a close game decided by 4 or 5 points. Take the Raptors +8.5 (1.90) (Bet365)
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