The Raptors continue their three-game road trip before a brief holiday break against the Thunder in Oklahoma City (7 PM ET, TSN2, FAN 590).
Road Warriors Get Tested: The Raptors have looked solid on the road this season with a 6-6 mark away from Air Canada Centre and aim for a fourth straight road win tonight — a first since April of 2002.
|RAPTORS HOME-ROAD SPLITS|
The Raptors handed the Mavs just their third loss in 14 home games on Friday and things get even tougher against the Western Conference-leading Thunder, who own a 13-0 record at Chesapeake Energy Arena and enter tonight on a nine-game win streak.
The Raptors have gone just 1-4 all-time against the Thunder in OKC since 2008-09, with their only win there coming in March of 2011.
Be Wary Of Westbrook: Speaking of road wins, the Thunder are coming off a big 113-110 statement win on the road against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, with Russell Westbrook scoring 31 points in the victory.
On Saturday, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey spoke about reviewing Friday’s game and seeing relaxed defensive coverage against speedy Dallas guard Monta Ellis. Casey has similar concerns that Westbrook could exploit the same thing tonight.
“That’s what I reminded them of today,” Casey said. “That same rejection of screens is going to be there tomorrow [Sunday] night.”
DeMar The Distributor: The Thunder have given the DeMar DeRozan trouble scoring the ball over the course of his career. In seven career matchups, DeRozan’s averaging 11.7 points on 33.3 per cent shooting from the field, his lowest marks against any other NBA team.
But DeRozan is displaying more of an all-around floor game this season and as he showed on Friday, he can help his team even if his shot isn’t dropping. His nine assists in Friday’s win were a career-high and he’s now dished out four or more assists in five of the last six games, well above his career average of 1.9 per game. The Raptors are 7-2 this season when DeRozan records four-plus assists.
By The Numbers: Raptors @ Thunder
|2013-14 AVERAGES||2013-14 RANKINGS|
Last Time They Met: Five players scored in double figures to lead the Thunder to an easy 104-92 win over the Raptors at Air Canada Centre back on January 6th, 2013. Westbrook and Kevin Durant paced OKC scoring-wise with 23 and 22 points respectively, while both dished out seven assists in the balanced Thunder effort.