Unfortunately, David did not defeat Goliath today, as the Raptors fell to the Thunder 104-92. It was a tale of two halves for the Raptors, who battled hard on both ends throughout the first twenty-four minutes, as they headed to the break trailing by one. The Raptors, who scored thirty-two points in the second quarter, managed to score just seventeen in the 3rd. With entering the fourth down double-digits, the Thunder went on to cruise for the victory, handing the Raptors their second straight loss.
Unlike Friday night against the Kings, the Raptors managed to move the ball well offensively today, finishing with 28 assists. When the ball was moving, the Raptors were succeeding. However, the tempo began to slow down, and so did the Raptors on the offensive end. You can thank guys like Alan Anderson, and Amir Johnson, who had a great deal to do with the Raptors shooting 45% in this one. Both Anderson and Johnson combined for 46 points (18/25-72%), while the rest of the team combined for 46 points (16/51-31%).
Defensively, the Raptors had themselves a very tough task this afternoon, as they had the gratitude of guarding two of the league’s most proficient scorers, in Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook. While Durant and Westbrook combined for 45 of the team’s 104 points, the Raptors did, at certain times, guard them with a great deal of intensity. However, when a team tends to put their entire focus on one/two player(s), those who are forgotten about, are usually left unattained. Having to try and contain the both of them is a task itself, and the Raptors failed to do so. Right before the game, Dwane Casey also stressed about being able to get back defensively against this Thunder team, saying, “We can’t coach speed”. Despite the concern, the Thunder still managed to get up and down the court in transition, which did not help the Raptors’ chances.
With Aaron Gray being ruled-out with the flu earlier today, the Raptors were forced to go with a more-athletic front court, as they granted Amir Johnson his first start of the season. By doing so, many believed this favored the Raptors defensively, as well as on the glass. However, that didn’t seem to be the case at all. The Thunder, who out-rebounded the Raptors by 10 (41-31), had many contributors on the glass. Four Thunder players chipped in with 7+ rebounds today, as the Raptors had just one.
Game Ball: This afternoon’s game ball goes to none other than, Alan Anderson. After scoring a career-high 27 points (10-14 shooting), Anderson provided the only real spark offensively, and continues to be a terror coming off of the bench.