The Norman Transcript

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December 23, 2013

Thunder struck at home

Raptors weather rally; deal Okla. City its first home loss

OKLAHOMA CITY — OKLAHOMA CITY -- Riding a 13-game home win streak, “The Peake” was beginning to take on mythical proportions. With victories over the L.A. Clippers, Golden State and Indiana already under their belt, the Oklahoma City Thunder faithful were sure the streak would last well into 2014.

Yet, it was a squad no one suspected that finally put a halt to the Thunder’s home dominance for one night when the Toronto Raptors earned a 104-98 victory Sunday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“It’s a huge win,” Toronto guard Kyle Lowry said. “These guys at their place have really kind of been unbeatable. For us to come in here and get a win is a huge confidence boost.”

The loss not only ended the Thunder’s 13-game home win streak to start the season, it also put a halt to a nine game overall win streak.

“We had a great little streak going at home,” Thunder coach Scott brooks said. “Now we just have to go out on the road and get a win. We’ve done a great job of protecting our home court. Give them credit, they played a good basketball game. They hung around and won it at the end.”

With 4:34 left in the fourth quarter, Raptors (11-14) guard John Salmons tied the game with a jumper. Center Jonas Valanciunas and Lowry scored five straight and the Thunder found themselves trailing 98-93 with 2:20 remaining.

But Oklahoma City (22-5) responded with a pair of free throws from Perry Jones III and a Kevin Durant 3-pointer at the top of the key to tie the game. Guard DeMar DeRozen answered with a jumper to give the Raptors a two point lead.

The Thunder had a couple of chances to tie the game or take the lead, but their shots were off the mark. After a mad scramble for a loose ball, Toronto got possession with 25 seconds left. Forward Amir Johnson was fouled and knocked in a pair of free throws to push the lead to four with 14.5 on the clock.

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