Thunder hold out to beat Raptors 110-109, win for second time in a row | The Canadian News

TORONTO (AP) – Mike Muscala hit a 3-pointer with nine seconds to go and the Oklahoma City Thunder held on to beat the shortstop Toronto Raptors 110-109 on Wednesday night.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 16 of his 26 points in the third quarter and the Thunder (8-16) rallied from a 13-point deficit to win their second straight game.

Toronto’s Justin Champagnie thought he had noticed Fred VanVleet’s missed shot at the buzzer to give the Raptors the win, but, after a wild celebration in center court, the umpires ruled that the shot from Champagnie had arrived too late.

“I was really scared,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “Obviously, you put a lot into a game. So it can be removed. Fortunately, it wasn’t. “

The Thunder, who won Monday in Detroit to snap an eight-game losing streak, overcame a double-digit deficit for the second straight game. Oklahoma City defended 18 against to beat the Pistons.

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“The guys made big plays tonight,” coach Mark Daigneault said.

Luguentz Dort scored 22 points, Darius Bazley had 15 and Josh Giddey added 13 for Oklahoma City.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 24 points, Pascal Siakam had 23 and VanVleet scored 14 of his 19 in the fourth quarter as the Raptors lost for the first time in three games. Toronto is 4-9 at home.

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Already without forward OG Anunoby (left hip) and center Khem Birch (right knee), who was out for the 10th consecutive game, the Raptors also played without center Precious Achiuwa, who was unavailable due to shoulder pain. right. Chris Boucher made his first season start in Achiuwa’s place.

Canadian-born Gilgeous-Alexander said he got a boost from playing north of the border, with friends and family from his nearby home in Hamilton, Ontario, watching from the stands.

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“It’s an exciting feeling,” he said. “It’s always fun and always will be.”

Gilgeous-Alexander was 6 of 17 and 12 of 12 at the free throw line. He also had nine assists.

“It was really good,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “It was difficult to keep him up front and he was making good plays.”

Dort, who is also from Canada, said he had family and friends who came from Montreal, about 300 miles away, to watch him play.

“It was just great,” Dort said. “It is always good to be back in your country.”

Toronto trailed 100-94 after consecutive 3s by VanVleet with 3:51 remaining, and Trent’s 3 with 1:45 to play made it 103-102.

Dort scored for the Thunder before VanVleet connected again, his fourth 3 of the quarter, tying at 105 with 59 seconds left.

VanVleet put the Raptors ahead with a pair of free throws, but Gilgeous-Alexander made a pair of his own to tie the score again before Champagnie’s basket with 18 seconds left gave Toronto a 109- lead. 107.

After a time out, a Gileous-Alexander driver kicked out to find Muscala for his green light 3.

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“As soon as I saw that Mike was open, I had to give it to him,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.

Daigneault praised Gilgeous-Alexander for not trying to do too much with the game at stake.

“I’m really impressed with his restraint and his ability to play the long game,” Daigneault said. “He’s at home in Canada and he’s got the ball in his hands, twice less, and he’s making the right play. He’s not thirsty and he’s trying to force something there. “

Toronto led 64-54 at halftime, but Gilgeous-Alexander scored 16 in the third quarter, hitting 8 of 8 at the free throw line and adding a pair of 3s. The Raptors shot 5 of 27 in the third and were outscored 33-12, equaling their lowest point total in any quarter this season.

The Raptors made just one basket in the final eight minutes of the third, a triple by Scottie Barnes, and were outscored 25-3 during that span. The Thunder took an 87-76 lead in the fourth.

FURIOUS FINISH

The Raptors made six 3-pointers in the fourth and finished with 15, matching their season record. Toronto has made 15 3-pointers twice previously, most recently in a Nov. 21 loss at Golden State.

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Thunder: Outscored Toronto 19-14 on bench points … … Derrick Favors had eight points and nine rebounds. … Improved to 6-16 when shooting below 50%.

Raptors: Siakam shot 7 of 9 in the first half. Finished 10 of 15.… Toronto scored 12 points in the fourth quarter of a Nov. 19 win at Sacramento.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

Thunder: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

Raptors: Host the New York Knicks on Friday night.

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