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Game Day Preview: Toronto Raptors welcome Thunder to the 6ix


Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan
Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan

Coming off a 100-78 rout of the Dallas Mavericks, the Toronto Raptors are back in action Thursday. It was all Toronto in their win against the Dallas Mavericks. DeMar DeRozan was finally able to get his scoring back, dropping 25 points on 10-17 shooting. Jonas Valanciunas also continued to stay hot and had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Lastly, Delon Wright was impressive with 11 points, four rebounds, and, 3 assists in 20 minutes. Another challenge will be on the Toronto Raptors hands when they welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday evening.

Potential NBA MVP Russell Westbrook is in the midst of a monster season. In 66 games played, Westbrook has recorded 32 Triple-Doubles. On March 11th, Westbrook would pass Wilt Chamberlain for second-most triple-doubles in a season. To make matters more impressive, Westbrook is averaging 31.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and, 10.1 assists per game. With the way he is playing now, it would not be unlikely for Westbrook to pass, or tie, Oscar Roberson’s single season record of 41 triple-doubles.

Thursday’s game will mark the second and final matchup between the Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder. In their previous meeting, Toronto was victorious by a score of 112-102. Expect another closely contested contest. Russel Westbrook is surging hot. In the Thunder’s previous game Tuesday, Westbrook had another triple-double, his 33rd of the season. Another player who could give Toronto some trouble is Victor Oladipo. The 24 year old guard is quietly stringing together a nice performances. Oladipo scored 21 points in the Thunder’s victory of the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

Do not count the Toronto Raptors out. Although the team is currently struggling to find consistency, there have been positives. Jonas Valanciunas has appeared to have found his way out of a slum and, DeMar DeRozan has re-found his scoring touch. For the Toronto Raptors, their win against Dallas may be just what the team needed to get their confidence and swag back. Serge Ibaka may have been held scoreless against the Mavericks however, the opportunity to face the team that traded him to Orlando at the 2016 Draft, may bring out a big performance.  DeMarre Carroll is also questionable for Thursday’s game.

For the Toronto Raptors, every victory is crucial. The team may have caught the injury bug but, now is not the time for the wheels to fall off the track. With home-court advantage for the Playoffs hanging in the balance the Raptors need to stay consistent. Thursday’s game is set for a 7:00 PM EST and, you will not want to miss it.

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