OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma didn’t forget how to play team basketball. Even though it looked like it in its loss to Atlanta on Sunday.
The Thunder rolled over the struggling Toronto Raptors 108-88 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“We had a tough loss last game,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “But we are not a team that is going to put our head down and run from what we need to work on. We are a solid team. I thought we did a good job tonight.”
Toronto coach Dwane Casey wasn’t as impressed with his team. He had hoped his squad would rise to the occasion of playing the defending Western Conference Champions on their own court. He didn’t get the effort he had wanted.
“It was a learning experience for us to go against one of the favorites of the NBA,” Casey said. “It was an opportunity for us to come out, compete, have fun and let the chips fall where they may. But the compete part we forgot.”
While the win silences critics of Oklahoma City for one night, the struggles continue for Toronto (1-3). It lost in every facet of the game.
The Thunder had six players score in double figures led by Russell Westbrook, who had 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Serge Ibaka added 17 while Kevin Durant chipped in with 15 on only 11 shots.
Jonas Valanciunas paced Toronto with 18 and Andrea Bargnani had 16 points and six rebounds.
On a night when they had to compete with the presidential election for their fans’ attention, the Thunder came out animated, intense and angry.
“We wanted to come out with a defensive mindset,” Brooks said. “We take a lot of pride in what we do.”
It started with Thabo Sefolosha hitting his first three 3-pointers of the night and Durant throwing down dunks on top of Bargnani.