When the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Toronto Raptors met a few months ago on November 11th, they were in similar situations: rebuilding franchises who weren’t likely to make the playoffs this season. OKC beat Toronto handily to move to 5-7 on the season, the Raptors went 7-6, and on they went.
4 months have passed since then, but their situations are nearly identical. At 34-35, the Thunder is 9th in the West with a chance to move up. Meanwhile, Toronto is 33-36 and 9th in the East, and they are just a game behind Atlanta.
On paper, Toronto should possibly be the better team because of experience. Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakim were both on that 2019 NBA Championship team. OKC is the youngest team in the NBA right now, but they have one of the league’s best scorers in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and plenty of shooters around him.
The two teams have had different results lately, though. OKC has won 6 of their 7 last, and Toronto has dropped 5 of their last 8. The Raptors are favored in tonight’s meeting, but the Thunder has played some really solid basketball lately, so I expect that this one will come down to the wire.
Tip-Off: 6:30 PM CT
Location: Scotiabank Arena (Toronto, Canada)
Television: Bally Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live tweets and discussion during the game
Game Notes: Oklahoma City Thunder Official Game Notes, Toronto Raptors Official Game Notes
- PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- SG: Josh Giddey
- SF: Luguentz Dort
- PF: Jaylen Williams
- C: Jaylin Williams
- PG: Fred VanVleet
- SG: OG Anunoby
- SF: Scottie Barnes
- PF: Pascal Siakim
- C: Jakob Poeltl
- Jared Butler is OUT (G League — two-way).
- Chet Holmgren is OUT (right foot surgery).
- Aleksej Pokusevski is OUT (G League — on assignment).
- Kenrich Williams is OUT (scapholunate ligament surgery in left wrist).
- Dalano Banton is OUT (sprained left thumb).
- Otto Porter Jr. is OUT (left foot surgery; second toe dislocation).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 15-11 against the Raptors in the regular season (7-8 at home, 8-3 on the road).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the regular season series with the Raptors 5 times, lost it once, and tied it 8 times.
- The Thunder went 1-1 against the Raptors last season (0-1 at home, 1-0 on the road).
- The Thunder is 1-0 against the Raptors so far this season (1-0 at home, 0-0 on the road).