After a completely failed first quarter (7/22), the Thunder quickly found themselves in difficulty and were already 12 points behind (34-22). The Raptors are on the other hand on a good day (68% on shots) and they jump at the throat of their opponents, from the start. Despite a much more successful second quarter (29 points at 12/24), Lu Dort (10 points) and his teammates are still lagging behind at the break (59-51), against the Raptors carried by a great Pascal Siakam (21 points and 9 rebounds at halftime).
On returning from the locker room, OKC slowly but surely cracked and the gap in score between the two teams increased minute by minute: we even reached +21 during the fourth quarter! Despite a very good game from their bench (55 points), the Thunder bowed heavily on their floor (117-98), handicapped by an excessively feverish attack (41% on shots, 30% from behind the arc), against the Raptors who continue their very good current momentum (7th victory in a row).
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
The efficient OKC bench. The Thunder only scored 98 points during the game… with 55 units coming from their bench! We note in particular the 13 points of Ty Jerome, or the 36 points of the international duo Aleksei Pokusevski – Theo Maledon (18 points each), very prominent. Without its valiant replacements to limit the damage, OKC could have taken much more expensive…
Toronto’s winning streak. The Raptors won their 7th game in a row and they had not been in such good shape since the start of 2020. Opposed to the modest Rockets for their next game, Fred VanVleet and his teammates, who are going through the best period of their season, are on track to complete the rollercoaster.
✅ Pascal Siakam. The strong winger guided the Raptors to an easy victory, notably with 21 of his 27 points (at 13/17) during the first half. He adds 16 rebounds, 5 assists, one interception and one block, for a very high quality all-around game. A few days after learning that he would not go to the All-Star Game, the Cameroonian took revenge on this poor Thunder.
✅ The other Toronto incumbents : 21 points and 6 assists for Fred VanVleet, 15 units from OG Anunoby, 16 from Gary Trent Jr (and 5 steals) and 17 from Scottie Barnes. The other members of the Raptors’ major 5 also shone. This Toronto team is increasingly competitive and it certainly has something to play for in a very open Eastern Conference.
✅ Theo Maledon. The French leader played 30 minutes off the bench and made this half hour profitable: 18 points (7/16), 2 rebounds and 3 assists. The absence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, at least until the break of the All-Star Weekend, can work in his favor, he who struggles to find regular playing time this season with the rapid outbreak of Josh Giddey in the lead. .
⛔️ Tre Mann. Holder in position 2 alongside the Australian rookie, the former Florida player completely lost himself and was replaced by Theo Maledon for a large part of the second half. He finished the match with 2 points (0/6), and his interesting activity in other areas (4 rebounds and 2 assists) was unfortunately offset negatively by the 4 faults he committed… in 18 minutes.
OKC (17-37): Friday, trip to Philadelphia
Toronto (30-23): back-to-back tomorrow in Houston