The Thunder dropped their 3rd game in a row at home and 4th overall, falling to the Raptors in overtime, 123-114.
Wednesday night the Oklahoma City Thunder hosted the Toronto Raptors for the first of their home and home matchups this week. But also “Mr. Thunder” Nick Collision had his jersey retired tonight, an event that proved to be the highlight.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 42 points, while Raptors forward Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 33 points.
Toronto was dominant throughout the game and led comfortably 106-94, with just four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. With the game seemingly in hands, some Oklahoma City fans elected to leave early.
That’s when Paul George went on a personal 9-0 run to bring the score to 110-108. Then, with just five seconds remaining, Westbrook scored a game tying layup to forced overtime.
Unfortunately, George fouled out in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. In overtime, the Thunder didn’t score until the final minute, losing 123-114.
The defensive gameplay put in by Raptors’ head coach Nick Nurse, was tremendous. It appeared that the Raptors wanted to force George to become the Thunder’s primary playmaker, rather than Westbrook.
In addition, they placed their best defender in Kawhi Leonard on George. The end results was George leading the Thunder in assist, but only scoring 19 points on 3-10 shooting from three, and fouling out in the end.
How Oklahoma City Fell Short:
First and foremost the Thunder started off terribly on defense, allowing 39 points in the first quarter. This forced them to play from behind the rest of the game, a common theme over the past month.
Toronto had great ball movement all night and it showed by shooting over 50 percent from the floor, and 39 percent from three as a team.
Secondly, Oklahoma City was poorest from the free throw line, shooting 15-29 at the line. In a comeback win that fell short in OT, such carelessness was a deciding factor.
Despite controlling the boards for much of the game, they were unable to capitalize kick out threes after ORBs. Oklahoma City shot 13-43 from distance, which is a pedestrian 30 percent.
A win on Friday is desperately need for this Thunder team, but in facing the Raptors a 2nd time, they may find themselves soon alone at the bottom of the West.
What Seed Will the Thunder Finish With?
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