Don’t look now but the Thunder is officially streaking.
Oklahoma City won its sixth consecutive game on Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena — a 124-107 shellacking of the Toronto Raptors. Despite trailing by eight after the first quarter, the Thunder defense clamped down and the offense came alive, providing a double-digit cushion down the stretch.
Paul George led the Thunder with 33 points, Russell Westbrook chipped in 30, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams contributed 18 apiece, and the team shot 53 percent from the field for the night. The Raptors entered with a 23-9 record, but watched as DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined to shoot 7/26 for 28 points against a smothering Thunder defense.
The win moves the Thunder to 20-15 on the season — 12-3 in the month of December — and inches the team even closer to preseason expectations. Back in action on Friday night at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Now for some notes on the win over Toronto.
70-50: After getting outscored 38-32 in the first quarter, the Thunder went on to win quarters two and three by a combined score of 70-50. A 36-point effort in the third was the stretch where OKC pulled away for good.
105: The Thunder starting five combined for 105 points — it was dominant.
53: The Thunder shot 53 percent from the field and held Toronto to 42 percent.
52-34: The Thunder dominated 52-34 on the boards, including 15-7 on the offensive glass.
25: The Thunder dished out 25 assists.
69.7: Solid game across most categories but the Thunder shot just 23/33 from the free throw line — good for 69.7 percent. Still much work to do here.
The Thunder starting lineup was unbelievable against the Raptors, combining for 105 points and elite-level defense. Their individual stat lines:
PG: 33 pts, 8 reb, 7/10 3P, +11
Russ: 30 pts, 13 ast, 8 reb, 11/22 FG, +26
Melo: 18 pts, 4 ast, 8/15 FG, +24
Adams: 18 pts, 9 reb, 4 stl, 8/9 FG, +23
Roberson: 6 pts, 10 reb, 2/3 FG, +26
The starters combined to shoot 40/66 (60 percent) and carried the team all night. The offense looked as good as it has all season long.
The defense the Thunder played on DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry was superb. Their final lines:
DeRozan: 15 pts, 6 reb, 4/16 FG, -18
Lowry: 13 pts, 10 ast, 3/10 FG, -27
DeRozan — who was just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week — was harassed by Andre Roberson and Paul George all night. After shooting 3/4 in the first quarter, he shot 1/12 the rest of the way.
Two particularly incredible dunks from this one.
The first — a monster, monster put-back from Russell Westbrook:
The second — Steven Adams going way up and over the Toronto defense to crush it. Bonus points for the celebration.
Notes & Highlights
Dual 30-Point Scorers. Paul George (33) and Russell Westbrook (30) both scored 30 points, the first time the Thunder has had two 30+ point scorers in a single game this season.
Bench Woes. The Thunder bench was fairly non-existent, combining for 19 points on 6/21 shooting. Raymond Felton was particularly bad, shooting 3/11 and 1/5 from downtown.
Ibaka Struggles. Serge Ibaka returned to OKC and scored 7 points on 3/7 shooting. He was a minus-24 in 27 minutes of action.
CJ Miles Went Off. The Raptors held in there for a while, due in large part to CJ Miles. The sub scored 20 points on 6/12 shooting from downtown and was a plus-9 in his 22 minutes.
Lights Out. Odd moment in the third quarter — there were some loud pops and billowing of smoke coming from the rafters of Chesapeake Energy Arena. A light bulb apparently burst and created a small fire, stopping play momentarily.
Andre Roberson discusses the win with Nick Gallo. Via FSOK.
Post-game, Paul George says joining the Thunder was his favorite basketball moment of 2017. Via Royce Young.