(Toronto, On) The Toronto Raptors continue their three-game homestand as they cruise past the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-111 at Scotiabank Arena. 

This win improves the Raptors to 34-36 on the year and 22-13 at home. They currently sit ninth in the Eastern Conference, half a game back from the Atlanta Hawks.  

The countdown to the end of the NBA season is upon us and the pressure has never been higher for the Raptors as they look to secure a play-in spot. The key word for this squad is “urgency” as every single game is crucial heading into playoff season. After starting one for five from the free throw line, Pascal Siakam picked up the pace and scored 10 points to end the first quarter. It was a competitive, fast-paced game as the Thunder exposed the Raptors zone defense and went on mini runs of their own. Canadian, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander torched the Raptors in the paint as he hit his first eight of nine shots to end the first half. Entering the third quarter, the energy was high as Scottie Barnes and Jakob Poeltl drew numerous fouls and got to the line multiple times. After being quiet throughout his last four games, Gary Trent Jr. came alive, finishing with four three pointers in the game. The Raptors thrived from second chance points and outscored the Thunder 35-24 in the fourth quarter to secure their 34th win on the season. 

It was an all-around performance for the Raptors as six players scored in double figures for the first time this season. Siakam took charge and was the leading scorer for the Raptors, dropping 25 points and 14 rebounds against the Thunder. Trent Jr. followed suit, scoring 23 points off the bench, while shooting 8/12 from the field. VanVleet and Barnes had moments of their own, each dropping 19 points. OG Anunoby continues to make his case for DOPY, scoring 17 points, two steals, and two blocks. Poeltl had an exciting fourth quarter, finishing the game with 16 points, 12 rebounds and shooting 80% from the free throw line. 

The Thunder were hanging around through the first three quarters as Gilgeous-Alexander was shooting lights out and breaking down the Raptors zone defense. He finished with 29 points and shot 12/19 for the game. Isaiah Joe and Tre Mann provided a boost off the bench, combined for 24 points and seven three pointers. As the Raptors lost by 19 during the previous meeting, they held the Thunder to 42.6% shooting and limited their rebounds. 

The pregame shootaround at Scotiabank Arena was crowded with more fans and media than usual, that is because of Hamilton, Ontario native, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Arguably the country’s best player, Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged a whopping 31.3 PPG and earned his first of many NBA All-Star selections. Truly, a force to be reckoned with as he is only 24 years old. He is poised to be the main leader of this young Thunder squad for the foreseeable future. 

The Raptors are truly at their best when they’re at home, winning six straight home games for the first time since the 2019-2020 NBA season. The hidden gem for this game was Christian Koloko who provided a spark off the bench. In 12 minutes, Koloko was +12 as his defensive presence gave Thunder players challenges when driving to the rim. Although he left the game due to an elbow to the nose by a Thunder player, he made an instant impact upon entering the game and looks ready to be a permanent player in the rotation. With Chris Boucher, Precious Achiuwa, and Koloko all on the bench, this is a good problem for the Raptors to have. 

This is another important win for the Raptors as they try and dig out of this 9-12 seed logjam in the Eastern Conference. With the Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, and Indiana Pacers only a game back, the race is on to see who will prevail and have a chance to make the play-in/playoffs. 

After the Timberwolves game on Saturday, all the Raptor’s matchups are against Eastern Conference teams. They then head onto the road to face the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks. 

Only 12 games remain.

Toronto vs. OKC Thunder boxscore click HERE.



Pascal Siakam: 25 PTS 14 REB 8 AST

Gary Trent: 23 PTS 5 REB 4 3PT

Scottie Barnes: 19 PTS 8 REB 6 AST


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 29 PTS 3 REB 3 AST

Jalen Williams: 15 PTS 7 REB 3 AST

Josh Giddey: 13 PTS 7 REB 1 AST

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