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December 23, 2013

Thunder struck at home

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



Durant’s next shot was off the mark and Lowry put the contest away with a trip to the free-throw line.

Westbrook paced the Thunder with 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Durant scored 24 points on 5-for-16 shooting.

Lowry led the Raptors with 22 points to go along with nine assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Johnson and DeRozen each scored 17 points in the win.

Lowry knew his matchup with Westbrook at the point guard spot would be pivotal if the Raptors were going to pull off the upset.

Toronto looked like it had caught Oklahoma City on the right night when it stormed out to a 68-57 lead to begin the third period. The Thunder starters were dragging around the court as the Raptors outhustled them to rebounds and loose balls.

At that point, Durant and Westbrook found an extra gear as Oklahoma City outscored Toronto 27-7 to close out the period.

“Losses happen in this league,” Durant said. “They beat us fair and square. We just have to take this loss on the chin and move on.”


Notes: Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey found himself siding with Oklahoma City C Kendrick Perkins when it comes to opposing players coming into the locker room. “You have to have some sanctity,” Casey said. “I have a lot of friends in the NBA, but I don’t like buddy, buddy before the game. The guy is trying to take your livelihood. We don’t have a rule in our locker room, but I agree with Perk.” ... Thunder coach Scott Brooks said his team does not have a defined sixth man. On any given night, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Nick Collison or Steven Adams could be the first player off the bench. “Reggie has done a great job,” Brooks said.

“But we feel that Jeremy has, Steve and Nick. Whoever goes into that lineup, whether first or last guy off the bench, I have confidence in them.”


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