|Date of game: 11/6/2012
Recap: Oklahoma City vs. Toronto
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Russell Westbrook had 19 points and eight assists to pace a balanced Oklahoma City scoring attack as the Thunder rolled to a 108-88 victory over the Toronto Raptors at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Serge Ibaka tallied a season-best 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting to help the defending Western Conference champion Thunder bounce back from Sunday's 104-95 home loss to Atlanta and improve to 2-2. Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin each contributed 15 points to the win.
"I thought the start was a big part of our win," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We talked about starting the game with a tough defensive-minded effort, and I think we did that tonight."
Jonas Valanciunas was a bright spot on an otherwise miserable night for the Raptors, with the rookie center notching a career-high 18 points while knocking down 6-of-8 field goal attempts. Andrea Bargani added 16 points for Toronto, which has now dropped three of four to begin the season, but hit just 5-of-14 shots.
The Raptors went a poor 35.7 percent as a team and played much of the game without top scorer Kyle Lowry, with the talented guard exiting with an injured right ankle late in the first half.
Lowry, who averaged 23.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists over Toronto's first three outings, did not return after landing awkwardly on Ibaka's foot while stationed underneath the basket with 1:29 remaining in the second quarter. He managed only two points with four assists in 17 minutes before departing.
Oklahoma City took over the game by outscoring the cold-shooting Raptors 24-6 over a six-minute stretch in the first quarter and never trailed thereafter, building as much as a 29-point cushion before head coach Scott Brooks rested his regulars the entire final period.
The 18-point swing was highlighted by a trio of Thabo Sefolosha baskets from beyond the arc, and capped by a Westbrook triple that gave the Thunder a commanding 30-15 lead with 1:45 left in the opening period.
Toronto would slightly close the gap at one point in the second quarter, pulling within 40-29 when Lowry fed DeMar DeRozan for a layup with around five minutes to go, but the Thunder answered with a 10-2 run sparked by five points from Martin to increase their margin.
Oklahoma City would be in front by as many as 21 points prior to the break and went into the locker room with a comfortable 57-38 advantage behind Westbrook's 13 points.
The Thunder continued to dominate after intermission, beginning the third quarter with an 13-3 spurt in which they hit six of their first eight shots to go up by a 70-41 count three minutes into the stanza. Toronto would never get closer than 20 points down the rest of the way.Game Notes
Oklahoma City is now 17-3 in their last 20 regular-season games that have
followed a loss dating back to Apr. 24 of the 2011-12 campaign ... The Raptors
have now lost in four of their five lifetime trips to Chesapeake Energy Arena
in this series ... Thunder backup center and 2009 No. 2 overall draft pick
Hasheem Thabeet matched a career high with 10 points before fouling out with
3:09 left ... Toronto forward Linas Kleiza missed a third straight game
while attending to a family matter.