Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Records: Raptors (25-14), Thunder (23-17)
Where to Watch
Date: Jan. 15, 2020
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN (Canada), Fox Sports Oklahoma or NBA League Pass (USA)
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
The Toronto Raptors take the floor for just the second time in the last seven days as they visit Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
This extra time off has been major for the injury-plagued Raptors, as they welcome back three key contributors into the lineup. After Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam returned to action against the Spurs on Sunday, centre Marc Gasol is listed as probable for Wednesday's game in Oklahoma City.
MORE: SGA and CP3: a match made in backcourt heaven
On Sunday, both Powell and Siakam saw about 31 minutes of action but Toronto ultimately couldn't pull through as it suffered a one-point loss to San Antonio after leading by as many as 18 points.
Rust didn't seem to be much of an issue for Powell, who finished with 20 points (on 8-for-14 shooting) while Siakam struggled as the game progressed, finishing with 15 points on 6-for-17 shooting, including 11-straight missed field goals to close the game.
Starring for the Raptors was Kyle Lowry, who finished with 16 points and 15 assists and Serge Ibaka, who recorded a monster triple-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds. Over the last 13 games (including the game Gasol went down), Ibaka has averaged 18.6 points (on 54.3% shooting) along with 10.5 rebounds and is on a career-long streak of eight-straight games with a double-double.
Can he keep this up with Gasol back in the lineup?
The Thunder are still one of the league's hottest teams and are coming off of an impressive road win over the Timberwolves fuelled by an impressive stat line from the Gilgeous-Alexander.
The native of Hamilton, ON recorded the first triple-double of his young career with 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists, making him just the second Canadian to record a triple-double and the second Canadian to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game. On top of it all, the 21-year-old became the youngest player in NBA history to record at least 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a single game.
While SGA did a bit of everything, it was Danilo Gallinari that handled the majority of the scoring duties as he finished with a game-high 30 points (on 8-for-12 shooting) in 33 minutes. For the season, Gallinari is averaging 18.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
Wednesday's game will look much different than the first meeting between the Thunder and Raptors, as both teams have dealt with a myriad of injuries this season. On Dec. 29, Gilgeous-Alexander and Paul led the way for an OKC team that was without both Gallinari and Dennis Schröder while Toronto was without Gasol, Powell, Siakam and Matt Thomas.
Each of the aforementioned six is expected to take the Chesapeake Energy Arena floor on Wednesday night.
Transition scoring will be a key in this one as the Raptors are one of the league's best at scoring on the fast break while the Thunder are one of the league's worst teams at defending transition offence.
Despite this trend, OKC held Toronto to just nine fast break points in the first meeting.
Can the Raptors get going in transition this time around to even the score? Or will Gilgeous-Alexander put forth yet another impressive performance against the team he grew up watching?
- Marc Gasol (hamstring) - Probable
- Dewan Hernandez (ankle) - Out
- Fred VanVleet (hamstring) - Out
- Abdel Nader (ankle) - Out
- Nerlens Noel (ankle) - Out
- Andre Roberson (knee) - Out
- The visiting team has won the last four meetings between the Thunder and Raptors.
- The Raptors currently rank third in the NBA averaging 17.6 fast-break points per game. The Thunder rank 30th in the league in that category (9.4 points per game) but lead the NBA in fast-break points allowed (10.9 points per game).
- Since Thanksgiving Day, Oklahoma City has gone 17-6 (.739), good for the fourth-best record among all NBA teams during that time span behind Milwaukee (20-3, .870), LA Lakers (17-5, .773) and Utah (16-6, .762).
- Serge Ibaka spent the first seven seasons (524 games) of his career as a member of the Thunder.
- OKC's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a native of Hamilton, ON while Luguentz Dort hails from Montreal, QC.
- Thunder forwards Deonte Burton and Abdel Nader played with Raptors guard Matt Thomas at Iowa State University.
Last Time They Played
Date: Dec. 29, 2019
Score: Thunder 98, Raptors 97
Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - 32 PTS (12-21 FG), 7 REB, 3 STL, 2 AST
Raptors: Fred VanVleet - 20 PTS (7-18 FG), 8 AST, 3 REB
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