Eight Straight: Thunder Dominate Raptors Behind Another Westbrook Triple-Double


Monday, March 28th 2016, 10:37 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


The NBA’s hottest team just got hotter, as the Thunder won its eighth straight game after a 119-100 beat down of the Raptors in Toronto.

Related: Thunder Social Scene

Russell Westbrook notched his 16th triple-double of the season in the win with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists, while the Thunder improve to 16-0 when the former UCLA Bruin reaches that stat line. Westbrook has been a triple-double machine as of late, with a total of seven in the month of March.

Riding the coattails of the NBA’s longest winning streak, the Thunder began the game with an emphatic boom when Westbrook split two defenders and finished off the sequence with a two-handed dunk to give his team a 13-2 lead.  While OKC’s offense was thriving, the overall team defense was tremendous as well with everyone playing aggressively.

“I felt like our effort was really good and I thought we did a very good job defensively tonight,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “Certainly getting on the road and getting off to a good start is important.”

That early scoring deficit wasn’t insurmountable, and luckily for the city of Toronto, Westbrook eventually had to take a breather. With 3:05 left in the first quarter, Westbrook checked out of the game with the Thunder leading by nine points. With its star point guard out of the game, the overall shine in the Thunder’s offense began to tarnish as the Raptors were able to pull ahead for a 31-30 lead.

Toronto’s run sprung Westbrook off the bench and back to the court, and the Thunder quickly ripped off an 8-to-0 run with the return of its general and slowly built up an 18-point halftime lead. As well as Westbrook played in the first half, he wasn’t the only one. The Thunder tallied 22 of its 27 fast-break points in the first two quarters while also shooting 50 percent from the field (21-for-42) and from behind the arc (7-for-14).

Despite getting pushed around for much of the first half, the Raptors didn’t have much of a response in the third quarter as OKC’s domination continued.

Toronto had a glimmer of hope to start the third, but Ibaka nailed a jumper, Durant and Westbrook each hit 3-pointers and then Westbrook assisted Ibaka on a fast-break slam on OKC’s next possession which let everyone inside of Air Canada Centre know there wouldn’t be a comeback win by the home team.

OKC’s biggest lead the rest of the way was 25 points as they held on for a very solid road win. After a tough stretch from the Thunder out of the all-star break, OKC’s current eight-game winning streak is its longest of the season.

“I think it’s great to see our guys put work in and it’s great to see them get rewarded, you know there were sometimes early, after the all-star break, where I really kind of felt we were moving in the right direction, it’s just we didn’t get some of the results we wanted and sometimes that can be disappointing,” Donovan said.

“We’ve gotten some of the results through some of the work we’ve put in and these guys have done a really good job from game-to-game of trying to figure out a way we can get better.”

Durant scored a game-high 34 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists while Ibaka added 15 points and eight rebounds. Dion Waiters came off the bench to score 15 points on 3-for-4 shooting from behind the arc. Steven Adams nearly recorded a triple-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Thunder will have a quick turnaround and will be back in action on Tuesday night in Detroit against the Pistons at 6:30 p.m. 

Russell Westbrook posts 16th triple-double and is tied for 2nd-most triple-doubles in a season over last 30 seasons. pic.twitter.com/uwB8onQWhc

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 29, 2016

Riding the coattails of the NBA’s longest winning streak, the Thunder began the game with an emphatic boom when Westbrook split two defenders and finished off the sequence with a two-handed dunk to give his team a 13-2 lead.  While OKC’s offense was thriving, the overall team defense was tremendous as well with everyone playing aggressively.

“I felt like our effort was really good and I thought we did a very good job defensively tonight,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “Certainly getting on the road and getting off to a good start is important.”

That early scoring deficit wasn’t insurmountable, and luckily for the city of Toronto, Westbrook eventually had to take a breather. With 3:05 left in the first quarter, Westbrook checked out of the game with the Thunder leading by nine points. With its star point guard out of the game, the overall shine in the Thunder’s offense began to tarnish as the Raptors were able to pull ahead for a 31-30 lead.

Toronto’s run sprung Westbrook off the bench and back to the court, and the Thunder quickly ripped off an 8-to-0 run with the return of its general and slowly built up an 18-point halftime lead. As well as Westbrook played in the first half, he wasn’t the only one. The Thunder tallied 22 of its 27 fast-break points in the first two quarters while also shooting 50 percent from the field (21-for-42) and from behind the arc (7-for-14).

Despite getting pushed around for much of the first half, the Raptors didn’t have much of a response in the third quarter as OKC’s domination continued.

OKC came to play tonight, a dominating performance against a solid team. #News9Thunder

— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) March 29, 2016

Toronto had a glimmer of hope to start the third, but Ibaka nailed a jumper, Durant and Westbrook each hit 3-pointers and then Westbrook assisted Ibaka on a fast-break slam on OKC’s next possession which let everyone inside of Air Canada Centre know there wouldn’t be a comeback win by the home team.

OKC’s biggest lead the rest of the way was 25 points as they held on for a very solid road win. After a tough stretch from the Thunder out of the all-star break, OKC’s current eight-game winning streak is its longest of the season.

“I think it’s great to see our guys put work in and it’s great to see them get rewarded, you know there were sometimes early, after the all-star break, where I really kind of felt we were moving in the right direction, it’s just we didn’t get some of the results we wanted and sometimes that can be disappointing,” Donovan said.

“We’ve gotten some of the results through some of the work we’ve put in and these guys have done a really good job from game-to-game of trying to figure out a way we can get better.”

Hot shooting helping tonight but overall @okcthunder have improved considerably in past couple weeks. @news9. #News9Thunder

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) March 29, 2016

Durant scored a game-high 34 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists while Ibaka added 15 points and eight rebounds. Dion Waiters came off the bench to score 15 points on 3-for-4 shooting from behind the arc. Steven Adams nearly recorded a triple-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Thunder will have a quick turnaround and will be back in action on Tuesday night in Detroit against the Pistons at 6:30 p.m. 

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The Thunder keep rolling after a 119-100 win over the Raptors on Monday night. OKC's eight-game winning streak is its longest of the season. 

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