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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 22nd (All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (10-14) at Oklahoma City Thunder (22-4), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to run their winning streak to 10 games on Sunday when they return home to face the Toronto Raptors.
The Thunder haven't lost since a Dec. 4 setback in Portland to the Trail Blazers. Oklahoma City is the lone remaining undefeated team at home with a perfect 13-0 mark.
OKC ran its winning streak to nine with a 113-100 road victory Saturday night over the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder took control of the game with a 40-29 second quarter and held the ultra-efficient Spurs under 43 percent shooting, while connecting at a 49 percent clip.
Russell Westbrook was dynamic on Saturday with 31 points on 13-for-22 shooting. He handed out eight assists, grabbed four rebounds and only committed three turnovers.
"He's an All-Star and playing like one every night," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Westbrook. "He makes us go with his effort, with his toughness, with his team mentality and the last couple of years, the game has slowed down. He sees so many things on the floor. He does a great job of running our sets and does a great job of leading our defense."
Reggie Jackson had 21 off the bench and Kevin Durant, the NBA's leading scorer, finished with 17. Serge Ibaka enjoyed a great all-around game with 14 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.
The Thunder head out for a two-game road trip, starting in Madison Square Garden on Christmas afternoon against the New York Knicks.
The Raptors are in the midst of a four-game trek and got off to a great start with a 109-108 overtime victory on Friday in Dallas over the Mavericks.
DeMar DeRozan's jumper with 1:11 left in overtime proved to be the difference as the Raptors held the Mavs scoreless to close out the extra session. It was DeRozan who sent the game to overtime with two of his 15 points with just 16 seconds left.
"We were sleepwalking early. I thought we were feeling sorry for ourselves a little bit. I had to get their attention and they did. Guys responded," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "They came out swinging, hit us with a haymaker, and I'm proud of the way our guys fought back. That's what the NBA is all about."
Kyle Lowry scored a team-high 20 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 18 with 13 rebounds while Terrence Ross and Amir Johnson finished with 15 points apiece for the Raptors, who have won three of their last four. Greivis Vasquez managed 14 for the second unit.
The Raps will also visit San Antonio and New York on this sojourn.
The Thunder have won three straight against Toronto. The Raptors have dropped two straight and six of the last seven as the visitor in this series.
12/22 10:17:17 ET
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