Game Preview: Raptors vs. Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder (42-29) @ Toronto Raptors (52-17)
When: Sunday, March 18th, 1:00 P.M. ET
Where: Air Canada Centre
Broadcast info: TSN1/3/4, TSN1050
The Raptors last saw the Thunder in Oklahoma City, falling 125-107 on the road as Paul George gave a 33-point performance. Russell Westbrook nearly recorded a triple-double for the Thunder, finishing with 30 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds as OKC handed Toronto a loss despite a 23-2 Raptors run in the first half and Toronto leading by 12 in the second quarter. After the early lead, the Raptors went into the half trailing by three, struggled to score after the halftime break, and went into the fourth trailing by 14 points. C.J. Miles led the Raptors with 20 points in the loss while Jonas Valanciunas added 16 and DeMar DeRozan added 15 points.
LEADING INTO TODAY'S GAME
Injury report: For Toronto, Norman Powell (sprained ankle) is listed as doubtful. Powell sprained the ankle in a basketball workout on Wednesday, and missed Toronto's previous two games. For the Thunder, Andre Roberson (left patellar surgery) is out.
11 straight: Thanks to Friday's 122-115 overtime victory against the Dallas Mavericks, the Raptors have now won 11 straight games. This ties a franchise record for most consecutive wins, previously set Jan. 6-30, 2016. What's more, Toronto has won 18 of its last 19 games.
Home court: Toronto enters Sunday's game an NBA-best 29-5 at home, with an opportunity to tie the franchise record for wins at home.. The franchise record for most home victories in a season is 30, set during the 2006-07 season. This year, the Raptors are averaging 112.9 points per game on the Air Canada Centre floor, and have already tied a franchise-record with 12 straight wins at home (Nov. 7 - Jan. 1).
100 club: Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook joined elite company when he recorded his 100th career triple-double on Mar. 13 against the Atlanta Hawks. Westbrook joins Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138) and Jason Kidd ( 107) as the only players to record 100+ triple-doubles. On the season, Westbrook is averaging 25.2 points, 10.2 assists, 9.7 rebounds and 1.78 steals per game.
JV in control: Jonas Valanciunas scored 21 points to go with 12 rebounds in Friday's win. He scored five points in the overtime period, making 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch. On the single free throw he missed, he grabbed his own offensive rebound and earned another trip to the line to help clinch the game. Valanciunas has scored 10+ points in a season-high 10 consecutive games. He is averaging 12.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this season, ranking 10th in the league with a 56 percent shooting average.
Wright time: The Raptors rested Kyle Lowry on Friday, giving the start to Delon Wright in his absence. Though the team spent the first half trying to find its way without four-time All-Star Lowry, Wright did a solid job filling in, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, six assists, two steals and a blocked shot. The Raptors were a +13 when Wright was on the floor, only topped by DeMar DeRozan (+19).