Raptors fall to Thunder, lose ninth straight

Good stuff from Gradey Dick and Jontay Porter despite the loss

Competitive effort from the skeleton Raptors until this game got away before halftime.

Toronto led by as many as 11 early, thanks to great passing and Kelly Olynyk taking advantage of OKC switching one through five and finding mismatches down low. To counter, Chet Holmgren dominated smaller defenders later on. The second quarter lineup didn’t work, sparking a 21-4 Thunder run to take the lead for good. The Raptors cut the deficit to six in the fourth quarter despite repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot with a season-worst 27 turnovers.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led all scorers with 23 points but he was held in check doing so, shooting 9-20 and committing six turnovers. Seven OKC players scored in double figures, leading to a 20 point win.

Gradey the Cutter

Dick had 21 points, his second most as a pro. He was 4-7 from three but the more impressive part of last night’s game was his cutting and finishing. Gradey displayed some of that ability during his hot month of February. The rookie added a couple of acrobatic layups to his highlight reel, including a strong take against Jalen Williams in the third quarter.

Dick talked about what he’s learning from his extended minutes despite all the losing. For the second time this season, he was the longest tenured Raptor on the court. This was also the case in Denver. It sadly illustrates how depleted the team has been all month.

Jontay the QB

Porter was a 6’10 point centre for much of this game. Jontay only took three shots in 21 minutes but ran the offence nearly the entire time he was on the court. From finding cutters way above the three point arc, redirecting teammates and using subtle fakes to shift Thunder defenders, Porter did an excellent job creating quality looks. He finished with a career-high eight assists.

Sidenotes: Canadian Homecoming

Earlier in the day, Shai picked up his Canadian Athlete of the Year award. It’s only the second time a basketball player has taken home the honour. Gilgeous-Alexander joins Steve Nash, who won in 2005 after his first MVP season with the Phoenix Suns.


Lu Dort added 10 points. If you add Olynyk to the mix, three prominent members of Canada’s Olympic team played in this game.

Sidenotes: Javon Freeman-Liberty

JFL had his first career NBA start, finishing with 10 points, four boards and three assists.

Up Next: The Raptors will try to avoid a double digit losing streak in Washington today on a back to back. The Wizards are coming off a surprising win against Sacramento but are still tied for the worst record in the NBA.