NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 21st
(All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (50-18) at Toronto Raptors (38-29), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder are perfect on this current
road trip and will try to polish it off Friday night when they visit the Air
Canada Centre to take on the Toronto Raptors.
The Thunder first dispatched the Chicago Bulls on Monday, then bested the
Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night. OKC prevailed, 102-95, on the strength
of the presumptive MVP.
Kevin Durant had 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists to lead the Thunder.
It was his 33rd consecutive game with 25-plus points, which is the longest run
of his career and the longest in the NBA since Michael Jordan strung 40
straight together during the 1986-87 season.
"My shot was a little flat and I missed some easy ones," said Durant, who shot
12-for-21 from the field. "I just tried to play as hard as I can on defense
and make winning basketball plays."
Serge Ibaka supplied 16 points and 11 boards, while Reggie Jackson added 13
points and six assists for the Thunder, who have won four of their last five
Star Thunder guard Russell Westbrook did not suit up to rest his surgically-
Oklahoma City is 1 1/2 behind the San Antonio Spurs for Western Conference
The Raptors snapped a two-game losing streak last time out with a 107-100 road
victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
DeMar DeRozan poured in a game-high 31 points and Kyle Lowry tallied 23
points, eight rebounds and five assists. Amir Johnson added 17 points and nine
boards for the Raptors, who have won three of their last five.
Tyler Hansbrough chipped in a game-high 13 rebounds and Greivis Vasquez
contributed 14 points.
"We understand we needed this game, plus we have a long flight back home that
we didn't want to sit on this loss with," DeRozan said.
The Raptors are 2 1/2 games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for the lead in the
Atlantic Division, but they are only a half-game in front of the Bulls for the
third seed in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto will play two straight north of the border and will host the Atlanta
Hawks on Sunday.
The Raptors bested the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Dec. 22 to snap a three-
game series losing streak. OKC has won two of its last three in Toronto.
03/21 10:23:03 ET