Oklahoma City Thunder

Team Effort Fuels Thunder to Win in Toronto

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

The Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a 4-game losing streak on Friday night as five different members of the Thunder scored in double digits to defeat the Toronto Raptors 116-109.

Rapid Recap

The first quarter was full of turnovers and made three-pointers–for both teams. The Raptors picked up right where they left off on Wednesday night as they knocked down 5-6 (83.3%) from deep, but the Thunder was able to counter by 5-10 (50.0%) with two of them coming from Jerami Grant.

Toronto shot an incredible 68.8% from the floor, but the Thunder was able to force the Raptors into 7 turnovers while OKC committed 4 of their own. The Raptors put together two different 8-0 runs, which allowed them to jump out to a 29-22 lead after one period.

The Raptors scored immediately to start the second quarter to push their lead to 9 and force a Billy Donovan timeout. The Thunder answered with 5 straight points of their own, but every time OKC would cut it close, Toronto would jump back out.

Midway through the period the Raptors took an 11-point lead, their largest of the first half, but the Thunder was able to answer with a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to 4 once again. With just 2 minutes left in the half, OKC trailed by a single point, but a bit of a meltdown allowed Toronto to take off a bit and take a 58-48 halftime lead.

Midway through the third quarter, the game looked very much like the first half. The Thunder defense was doing a pretty solid job, but the offense could not score due to poor shot selection. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the switch flipped.

At the 5:23 mark of the third period, Toronto held a 76-63 lead over OKC. The Thunder managed to turn the game around as they made five shots from three to go on a 20-4 run to finish out the quarter and take an 83-80 lead into the final frame.

The Raptors battled back and even took the lead a couple of times, but the Thunder stayed focused and was able to force Toronto into making mistakes while converting on the other end. The score was all tied up at 90-90 with a little over 9 minutes left in the game, but the Thunder took over and never looked back, leading by as many as 13 points, to finish off the Raptors and leave Toronto with a 116-109 victory.

Box Score

Thunder Player of the Game

The Thunder had plenty of contributions from a number of players, but Dennis Schröder made a big difference as he came off the bench to score 26 points on 10-16 (62.5%)–including 4-7 (57.1%) from three. Schröder added in 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and a block in what could be labeled as his best game of the season. He has not played consistently well since before the All-Star Break, but perhaps this was a breakout game to return to a level of consistency that the Thunder so desperately needs from him.

On to Memphis

The Thunder continues their road trip as they head to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on Monday night. The Thunder is 2-0 against the Grizzlies so far this season, and OKC needs to make sure and take care of business against a team that is clearly a tier below them. Tip-off is at 7 PM and will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma, and it will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

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