Grades: OKC Thunder exact revenge on Toronto Raptors

OKC Thunder (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder slashed the Toronto Raptors to earn a much needed victory, setting the stage for them to rebound in a competitive Western Conference.

Finishing their home-and-home series in Toronto, the OKC Thunder were feeling the pressure to earn a signature win on the road against a top-ranked Raptors squad. Oklahoma City came into the game on a four game losing streak, 5-10 since the All-Star break, and tied with three other teams for fifth place in the Western Conference standings. Fortunately, OKC left Jurassic Park with a hard-fought victory to the tune of:

81. Final. 116. 149. 109

Oklahoma City failed to carry its late comeback momentum from regulation into overtime during their first match-up, dropping them to eighth place in the Western Conference standings. With the help of losses from the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz in the last couple days, the OKC Thunder came out hungry for a much needed win. Determined to maintain control of their own destiny, Oklahoma City came out energized from the opening tip off.

Against a talented, ascendant Raptors team the OKC Thunder struck lightning in the second half. Oklahoma City rediscovered its high-flying identity of a staunch defense paired with a fast-paced, fast break offensive flow. Five Thunder players ended the night with double-digit scoring efforts, all while keeping the racy Raptors’ offensive flow in check.

Toronto outpaced Oklahoma City in most team stat categories to include field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, rebounds, and points in the paint. The Raptors maxed out their lead at 13 points seven minutes into the third quarter, but that was their last chance before the Thunder turned on the jets in a race to the final buzzer. The difference makers for the Thunder were doubling Toronto’s fast break points at a rate of 16-8 while limiting their turnovers to 13 compared to the Raptors’ 22. This was OKC’s 15th win of the season while overcoming a double-digit deficit, and it came at a much needed point as every win counts toward determining playoff seeding.

With that, let’s dive into the player grades.