Game Recap: Thunder 93, Raptors 95

News and notes following the Thunder’s 95-93 loss to the Toronto Raptors:

  • The Thunder again turned in a stout defensive performance, allowing the Raptors to shoot just 43.2%, but its own shots wouldn’t fall coming down the stretch going just 1-for-8 in the last four minutes of the game.
    “The defense was great but we just couldn’t make any shots there at the end,” said Thunder forward Kevin Durant. “It is what it is we just gotta work on it and move on.” “That was a tough loss tonight,” said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks. “I thought they did a good job of executing down the stretch while we struggled executing down the stretch. But I think both teams fought hard.”
  • The Thunder allowed Toronto just two points during a six minute stretch late in the game, but the Raptors scored five points in the last :38.5 seconds to get the win, including a 3-pointer from Leandro Barbosa that tied the game.
    “The last thing you wanna do when you’re up three is to let them get that wide open look and that was a great executed play on their part,” said Brooks. “We did not do a good enough job of covering that.”
    “You gotta give those guys credit,” Durant said, “they played well. We dug ourselves a big hole and then fought back. This is a game we’ll have to live with.”
  • The Thunder trailed by 12 points late in the third quarter, but scrambled back to take a 93-90 lead with 1:31 to play, but couldn’t hold on.
    “It didn’t come out our way this time,” said Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. “I think it started from the beginning of the game. When you end up with a two-point game like this you can go through the game and pick out little details where you messed up and I’m talking about me personally. It’s one of those games where you just have to look yourself in the mirror and come back and be prepared to go against the Jazz for the next game.”
  • Kevin Durant gets off to a hot start hitting three of his first four shots. he finished the first quarter 4-for-7 with 10 points.
  • Toronto coach Jay Triano said before the game he wanted to slow down the Thunder fast break and in the first half the plan worked well. The Raptors outscored Oklahoma City 13-2 in transition points. In the second half it went the other way a little bit with the Thunder outscoring Toronto 8-2 on the break.
  • Another solid defensive game for the Thunder in the first half as it held Toronto to just 40.9% shooting. The Raptors out-rebounded the Thunder though 26-20 in the first 24 minutes.
  • In the fourth quarter the Thunder outscored Toronto 27-19, including a 15-0 edge at the free throw line and outrebounded the Raptors 16-6. The difference was Toronto was 3-for-4 on 3-pointers and the Thunder did not attempt a shot from long range.

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Kevin Durant has the ball knocked away but Russell Westbrook gets it right back to extend the possession and he dishes to Kendrick Perkins for the score...Perkins then forces the ball out of bounds off of Amir Johnson who then shoves Perkins and is assessed a technical foul...Serge Ibaka forces Andrea Bargnani to alter his shot as he drives into the lane. Bargnani misses and Perkins is there to get the rebound...Good defense by Toronto on OKC’s first possession of the second quarter but it doesn’t matter as James Harden nails a 3-pointer as the shot clock expires...On the Thunder’s next possession much better ball movement leads to a 3-ball from Daequan Cook also as the shot clock expires...Nice screen by Perkins to start the second half and let Westbrook get free into the lane and score...Big steal by Nick Collison early in the fourth quarter setting up a Thunder basket...James Harden drives into the lane leaps into the air and dishes a beautiful no-look pass to Serge Ibaka for the flush bringing the Thunder to within four...Outstanding team defense forces Toronto into a shot clock violation with less than six minutes to play...Perkins forces a jump-ball then taps it out to Harden for the possession which leads to a game-tying shot by Durant...Perkins has taken the game over on the defensive end altering shots and grabbing six rebounds coming down the stretch.

STATS WORTH REPEATING: Kendrick Perkins had 12 rebounds, six in the fourth quarter, four assists and a steal. James Harden came off the bench to drop in 23 points on 5-for-9 shooting, including 2-for-3 on three pointers.

LAST WORD: “It was a tough loss. I obviously have to be better in certain situations,” Perkins said, “I think we can be better as a team and me personally I can be better.”

UP NEXT: The homestand continues Wednesday night when Northwest Division rival Utah comes to town. Tip-off against the Jazz is set for 7 p.m. inside Oklahoma City Arena. You can catch all the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma or the Thunder Radio Network.