Views From The 6: Thunder In Toronto For Matchup With Raptors

Wednesday, March 15th 2017, 3:37 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger

With 15 games left in the regular season, the Thunder continues its road-trip in Toronto on Thursday night when it takes on the Raptors at 6 p.m.

Related: Brooklyn's Finest: Westbrook's 33rd Triple-Double Lifts Thunder Past Nets

Here are a few things to know about the matchup:

Raptors are without a key player

Following an appearance in this year’s NBA All-Star Game, Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry injured his right wrist in late February and is expected to be out until early April. This is a huge blow to Toronto seeing Lowry is averaging 22.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game this season while solidifying the Raptors as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Cory Joseph has filled in for Lowry in the starting lineup since the injury, and is averaging 11.2 points and 4.4 assists over the last 10 games. Also an all-star, Demar Derozan has done most of the heavy lifting as the Raptors are 6-4 since Lowry's been out. 

Thunder will see a familiar face

The Raptors pulled off one of the biggest moves before the NBA Trade Deadline when they made a deal with the Magic to acquire former Thunder big man Serge Ibaka.

This will be the second time this season the Thunder has squared off with Ibaka. When they met back in November, Ibaka torched his former team for 31 points, nine rebounds and four blocks while knocking down the game-winning jumper.

Ibaka is averaging 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game since joining the Raptors, but went scoreless in Toronto’s most recent win over the Mavericks on Monday.

Westbrook chasing history

Along with OKC’s three-game winning streak, Russell Westbrook has also tallied a triple-double in three consecutive games to move his season total up to 33. Westbrook only needs eight more triple-doubles with 15 games left to tie Oscar Robertson’s all-time record of 41 for a season.

Westbrook is currently averaging 31.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.3 assists and has a 90-percent chance to be the first person since Robertson (1961-62) to average a triple-double for an entire season, per ESPN. 

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