(Sports Network) - The reigning Western Conference champions, the Oklahoma
City Thunder, will try and get back on track at home tonight when they host
the Toronto Raptors.
The Thunder lost at home Sunday night to the Atlanta Hawks, 104-95. After a
season-opening heartbreaker to the San Antonio Spurs and a comfortable home
victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Thunder have sputtered a bit
getting out of the blocks this season.
Kevin Durant's scoring numbers are down. The man who led the NBA in scoring
the last three seasons is averaging only 22.7 ppg, but he also leads the team
in rebounding, assists and steals.
Russell Westbrook had a forgettable night against the Hawks with only 14
points on 5-of-18 shooting. He did register nine assists.
Oklahoma City has shot over 40 percent from the 3-point line in all three
games this season, but was done in Sunday by a bad defensive second half. The
Thunder surrendered 57 points in the last two quarters and also finished the
game with 20 turnovers, which led to 31 points for Atlanta.
"It is early. We have to put everything in perspective," said Thunder head
coach Scott Brooks. "The concern to me is that we take pride in never giving
up a 30-point quarter and we started the game off giving one, then we gave a
28-point quarter and a 29-point one. We have to address that issue."
Kevin Martin did his best James Harden impression against the Hawks. He scored
28 points off the bench in just 29 minutes, including 19 in the second quarter
The Raptors picked up their first win of the season on Sunday, a 105-86
drubbing of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar
DeRozan combined for 44 points in victory. Through three games, the backcourt
is the fourth-highest scoring set of guards in the league.
The guards, especially Lowry, are taking care of the ball as well. The Raptors
rank second in the NBA in fewest turnovers with just an 11.7 average per game.
And, Toronto is causing turnovers. The Wolves had 24 on Sunday and the
Raptors, who rank fourth in the NBA causing 20 turnovers a night, scored 32
points off Minnesota's miscues.
"We had a lot more possessions because of the turnovers," said Raptors coach
Lowry has been sensational in his first three games as a member of the
Raptors. Acquired from the Houston Rockets in the offseason, Lowry leads the
team in scoring, assists, rebounding, steals, field-goal percentage, free-
throw percentage and 3-point percentage.
The Thunder, 15-3 in games after a loss last season, won the only matchup last
season, but Toronto swept the season series during the 2010-11 campaign.
The Sports Network