The Oklahoma City Thunder bounced back from their overtime loss to Toronto on Wednesday by defeating the Raptors on their homecourt on Friday.
The Thunder found themselves down by 10 points in the first half, but a huge second half from Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Jerami Grant and Dennis Schroder helped them record their 43rd win of the season.
The Thunder hold on to the fifth spot in the Western Conference with the win while the loss moves the Raptors three games behind the Milwaukee Bucks at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
With that in mind, here are four takeaways from Friday's game...
The Thunder aren't usually known for their 3-point shooting. They rank 14th in the league in how many triples they're taking per game on the season, but only six teams - the Pelicans, Knicks, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Lakers and Suns - convert those opportunities at a worse rate.
On Friday, however, they couldn't miss.
The Thunder converted 20 of their 43 attempts from deep, the second-most they've made in a game this season. The only time they've made more? In an overtime loss to Lakers on Jan. 17, in which they knocked down 22 of their 54 3-point attempts.
Paul George and Jerami Grant were responsible for half of the 3-pointers they made against the Raptors, making five each. That set a new career-high for Grant.
Dennis Schroder also gave the Thunder a huge boost off the bench with 24 points on 4-for-7 shooting from distance. He's only ever made more than four 3-pointers in a game once in his career.
It's not as though the Raptors didn't shoot well from the perimeter. (They went 13-for-25 from the great beyond). They just weren't nearly as hot as the Thunder.
The third quarter
This is when the Thunder got back in the game.
The Raptors looked like they were in control by the midpoint of the third quarter, but the Thunder closed the period on a 20-4 run.
Terrance Ferguson was responsible for six of those points, and Dennis Schroder chipped in with three points and three assists off the bench.
.@okcthunder end the 3rd Q on a 20-4 run!#ThunderUp 88#WeTheNorth 88- NBA (@NBA) March 23, 2019
📺: @NBATV pic.twitter.com/4xTuYp3yYz
The Thunder ended up outscoring the Raptors 35-22 in the third quarter, helping them turn a double digit deficit into a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. They shot 13-for-24 from the field compared to only 6-for-17 for the Raptors.
The Raptors got their offence back on track in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't quite enough for them to get the win.
The reason the Raptors got their offence back on track in the fourth quarter was largely because of Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard was having a relatively quiet night by his standards through three quarters, but he exploded for 20 points in the fourth quarter alone. He shot an efficient 6-for-11 from the field, 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
He almost single handedly got the Raptors the win down the stretch.
That man strong- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 23, 2019
32 for Kawhi pic.twitter.com/9jngfXNS2j
The problem? Leonard also committed three of his game-high eight turnovers in the fourth. That was an issue for the Raptors all game long, as they turned the ball over 21 times as a team.
It was less of a problem in the first quarter, when seven of their 11 made shots were assisted, but the Raptors had more turnovers (14) than assists (13) in the final three frames.
The Raptors are now 3-3 this season when they commit 20 or more turnovers.
With the loss, it's looking less likely that the Raptors get to 60 wins this season.
While they have the easiest remaining schedule in the league, they'd have to go a perfect 9-0 the rest of the way.
Their remaining opponents: Charlotte Hornets (twice), Chicago Bulls (twice), New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves. Those are all very winnable games, but their focus the rest of the way will likely be on being at full strength for the playoffs.
Nick Nurse was asked about the possibility of getting 60 wins or going after the No. 1 seed prior to the loss. Here's what he had to say:
When did Nurse take this approach? "When I got the job."- Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 22, 2019
Why? "Because it just doesn't seem to have much relevance to our team and the situation that our organization is in. Yeah, we want a decent seed but you get caught up in it."
The Raptors will be back in action on Sunday, when they host the Hornets.