Notebook: Thunder 104, Raptors 92



Posted Jan 6, 2013 4:44 PM

Duane Watson, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Oklahoma City Thunder (26-7) defeated the Toronto Raptors (12-22) 104-92 on Sunday afternoon. The Thunder started their road swing on a wining note, with 10 of their next 12 games will be away from home, while Toronto has dropped their second loss in a row at the Air Canada Centre.

Aside from an impressive Raptors second quarter where they scored 32 points, the Thunder played like an NBA elite squad, pushing the tempo, capitalizing on turnovers and moving the ball. Led by their all-star tandem of Kevin Durant, 22 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, while Russell Westbrook scored 23 points and added 7 assists. Serge Ibaka added 19 points and 8 rebounds and Kevin Martin scored 16 points off the bench.

The Raptors made a 19-6 run with under 10 minutes left in the second quarter to push the score to 42-37, giving them their first lead of the game. Yet the Thunder rallied back to take a 52-50 lead into the half and continued pushing the tempo in the third with a 16-2 run, closing the quarter 78-67. In the fourth, the Raptors couldn't find ways to score, while the Thunder continued on, stretching their lead to a game high 21 points.

Alan Anderson led all scorers with a game-high 27 points off the bench and Amir Johnson added 19 points and 9 rebounds. Jose Calderon had a double-double of 10 points and 11 assists.

QUOTABLE: "He's all-around, he's not just an offensive player. He does many more things for us. He's a defender he's a rebounder, he's a passer, ball mover and a screen setter. He does all the little things that we ask Nick Collison to do. He just scores a little better than Nick."
-- Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks on Durant.

THE STAT: One of the biggest attributes of the Thunder is their speed, and they utilized it on the break outscoring the Raptors 17-9, while the margin doesn't seem as significant, their quickness played out not only in their offense, but their ability to close out defensively.

TURNING POINT: The Thunder put the hammer down in the third quarter, going on a 16-2 run with under eight minutes left. Westbrook scored 12 points in the quarter, while their defense held the Raptors to .313 percent shooting, not only taking the energy out of the players, but the fans in the ACC as well.

QUOTABLE II: "We got a group of guys that love playing with each other and once we pass the ball at a high level like we did tonight, we give ourselves a chance to win every game."
-- Durant on the team play of the Thunder.

HOT: Anderson erupted for 19 points in the second quarter shooting 7-for-8 from the field and 4-for-5 from the 3-point line with 2 assists a rebound and a steal. He put the Raptors back in the game and fueled their 32-point second quarter.

NOT: DeMar DeRozan is averaging 18.3 points per game but was held to 3-for-14 shooting through the first three quarters for only 6 points. The Thunder defensive strategy of keying in on him and taking him out of his rhythm worked.

NOTABLE: The Thunder are 14-0 when five players score in double digits. Terrence Ross left the game in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and did not return. NFL Hall of Fame and former Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas was in attendance. The Raptors are 0-16 when allowing opponents to score 100-plus points. Aaron Gray missed the game with flu-like symptoms for the Raptors and Johnson was inserted into the starting lineup in his place.

UP NEXT: For the Raptors; Wednesday vs. Philadelphia, Friday vs. Charlotte, Sunday vs. Milwaukee. For the Thunder; Monday @ Washington, Wednesday @ Minnesota and Friday @ Lakers.