Westbrook, Thunder end Raptors' 11-game win streak
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 19, 2018 06:26 AM
FILE - NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes to the basket against the New York Knicks on December 16, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Ian Harrison, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan praised his team’s poise following a hard-fought road win over the streaking Raptors.
Toronto, meanwhile, found it harder to stay calm and collected after some controversial calls down the stretch.
Russell Westbrook had 37 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds for his fifth straight triple-double, Steven Adams scored 25 points and the Thunder beat the Raptors 132-125 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), snapping Toronto’s winning streak at 11.
“You’ve got to be able to keep your composure through it all,” Westbrook said. “That’s what the game is all about. We’ve got a lot of veteran guys on this team who are able to do that.”
Paul George scored 22 points and Carmelo Anthony had 15 as the Thunder extended their winning streak to six. Corey Brewer scored 10 points for Oklahoma City.
“A big part of it tonight was our team’s poise,” Donavan said. “That was really important.”
DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points and Kyle Lowry fouled out with 22 points and 10 assists as the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors suffered just their sixth home loss of the season. Toronto is 29-6 at Air Canada Centre, the best home record in the NBA.
DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and Raptors coach Dwane Casey were all ejected in the final minute for complaining to the referees. DeRozan was incensed after not getting a call when he tried to drive on Brewer with 30 seconds left. DeRozan picked up two technicals in the following 22 seconds.
“He tried to smack me because I had a layup,” a visibly frustrated DeRozan said. “I got fouled.”
Having reviewed the video, Casey said the Raptors would file a formal complaint.
“Officials are going to miss calls but, at the juncture of the game when some of the calls were made, we’ve got to get it right around the league,” Casey said. “Not just this game, the entire league.”
Still, Casey took pains to point out that the Raptors, not the referees, were ultimately to blame.
“We made enough mistakes down the stretch also,” Casey said. “We shot ourselves in the foot, missed easy shots, layups, free throws, turnovers.”
DeRozan, however, didn’t share Casey’s view. Asked whether the officials had cost Toronto the game, DeRozan said, “It’s obvious for us.”
Delon Wright and C.J. Miles each scored 15 points, and Pascal Siakam and Jonas Valanciunas each had 10 for the Raptors.
The score was tied 119-119 when Lowry fouled out with 3:19 remaining. Westbrook immediately drove for a layup past Wright, Lowry’s replacement.
After Wright missed a layup at the other end, Westbrook added another layup to cap a personal 10-point run and give Oklahoma City a 123-119 lead with 2:38 remaining.
Wright and DeRozan each made a pair of free throws to tie it at 123-123 with 1:41 left, although DeRozan missed a free throw on Anthony’s technical foul.
Westbrook put the Thunder ahead to stay by driving for a layup with 39 seconds left, then banked home a jump shot with 11 seconds left, giving Oklahoma City a four-point cushion.
Thunder: The starting five combined to shoot 17-for-18 in the first quarter. ... Adams scored a career-high 27 points against Minnesota on Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time).
Raptors: Lowry returned after sitting out to rest in Friday’s (Saturday, PHL time) win over Dallas. ... G Fred VanVleet was unavailable because of a right hand contusion. ... F Norman Powell (sprained left ankle) returned after missing the previous two games.
ONE THAT GOT AWAY
Toronto dropped to 43-2 when leading through three quarters. The Raptors, who also lost a Dec. 11 (Dec. 12, PHL time) road game to the Clippers after taking a lead into the fourth, were ahead 98-97 through three against the Thunder.
AGONY FOR ADAMS
Adams went down in pain after taking a knee to the groin while defending Ibaka’s drive in the third. Adams stayed down for several minutes before walking gingerly to the locker room, but was able to return.
“That did not look very comfortable,” Donovan said.
Adams and Ibaka were teammates in Oklahoma City for three seasons. “My old mate,” a smiling Adams said, shaking his head.
Anthony reached 25,289 points, passing Reggie Miller (25,279) to take over 19th place on the NBA’s list. Next up is Alex English (25,613).
Thunder: Visit Boston on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Oklahoma City has won three straight road games against the Celtics.
Raptors: Visit Orlando on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Toronto has won the past two meetings.