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Thunder finds way to beat Raptors 113-103 without original starters

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Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

Wednesday’s game could be another chapter added to the long book titled “How is OKC in This?” as Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Toronto Raptors 113-103.

This has been the common theme this season as head coach Mark Daigneault has battled with not having a stable rotation all season long as players get added and removed from the injury report daily.

That may be the case as the Thunder played nine guys and none of their original starters.

Meanwhile, the Raptors were without Kyle Lowry. But outside of that, they were relatively healthy.

This was another game where the Thunder should have lost on paper, but instead, they turned in another performance where the next guys stepped up, and everybody contributed to the win.

Daigneault's popular saying is that he wants his team to be better as a sum than the parts. Tonight’s game definitely saw that sentiment materialize.

“We expect everybody on the team to be a playmaker,” said Daigneault postgame.

The Thunder finished with seven players in double figures scoring with nobody scoring more than 22 and less than 12 among them.

Svi Mykhailiuk was the leading scorer with 22 points and nine rebounds as he scored inside the paint and shot 4-of-7 from three,

Svi was never known as a dunker, but that has changed in his stay with OKC thus far. He has shown the ability to throw the ball down and was able to do so again tonight. Since their trade, Svi has had more dunks than Hamidou Diallo.

Moses Brown continues to impress when given a chance to start. This time, he finished with a 20 point and 11 rebounds double-double that visibly frustrated Aron Baynes. Brown has now collected a double-double in four of his past six games.

Isaiah Roby has been struggling with his shooting for the past week, but tonight he had his best scoring performance since then. Roby finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, outplaying the $30.6 million man Pascal Siakam who finished with just 14 points and seven rebounds.

Kenrich Williams continues to be a consistent positive presence on the court as he finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Obviously, Theo Maledon struggled to carry the offensive load dropped on him with so many of the top guys out as he scored 12 points on poor 3-of-16 shooting.

But Maledon was able to contribute in other ways with six assists and seven rebounds. Thunder fans should want to see Maledon struggle in the means of experimenting and trying out new things.

While the results weren’t there, the process is encouraging. Maledon is still young enough to try out new things and see what works and what doesn’t.

Despite a severe lack of playing time recently, veterans Darius Miller and Justin Jackson stepped up when their numbers were called. For Miller, that meant coming in and making a couple of threes as he scored 11 points.

For Jackson, that meant competing and making the right off-ball plays as he finished with 12 points.

“I give those guys credit for keeping themselves ready,” said Daigneault postgame. “It takes a lot of mental toughness.”

While Josh Hall struggled shooting the ball, he still contributed with a five-point, four-assist, and five rebounds stat line in 21 minutes. Hall has many leeways because this is only his third “real” NBA game where he gets a healthy amount of minutes.

Tony Bradley also gets a pass with just his five-point and seven-rebound performance, as I’m sure he is still trying to get used to his new team and learn the language.

Now, in terms of lottery odds, this win hurts more than most. The Raptors now have a 2.5 game lead in the standings, and with just about five weeks left in the season, every game matters more now than ever.

But overall, this was another classic Daigneault Game where he manages to make chicken salad out of chicken crap. This has been one of his biggest strengths as a coach thus far in his rookie season.

Next Game: Thunder travel to Phoenix to play against their old friend Chris Paul and the Suns on Friday.