The Raptors, be they great or be they terrible, always find a way to get under the Thunder’s aggregate skin, and they did so tonight despite not scoring in the first six minutes of the game. Down 27-20 after twelve minutes, they knocked out 42 points in the second quarter to go up seven at the half, and Toronto didn’t even try to look back: OKC pulled to within four late in the fourth, but the Raptors finished off the Thunder with relative ease, 112-102.
Kyle Lowry was much peskier than usual — 19 points, 13 assists — but the big problem was trying to DeTer DeMar DeRozan, 37 points on 22 shots despite missing both his attempts at 3-pointers. Superior shooting did most of the damage: the Raptors, once they got going, hit 52 percent from the floor, about 10 points better than the Thunder could manage. It might have helped if Russell Westbrook could have banged out a few more; as it stands, he did collect 36 points, but it took him 26 shots to do it. Steven Adams, who apparently didn’t mess up his hand last time out, reeled in 14 points and 12 boards; notably, he hit all eight of his free throws, something that never would have happened, say, a season ago.
And Toronto did all this without Jonas Valanciunas, a game-time decision, out with a knee contusion. You might want to credit backup center Lucas Nogueira, who made all five of his shots in 29 minutes and claimed a +31 for the night, even better than DeRozan. The Raptors, now 5-2, have seven road games in the next nine, but if they keep up the pressure the way they did tonight, they won’t have a thing in the world to worry about.
Meanwhile, the Thunder waits anxiously for the Clippers, who will be here Friday night with revenge, or something, on their minds.