OKC Thunder: Thunder stops losing streak with rout of Raptors

Kevin Durant scored 23 points and Oklahoma City had a 24-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters en route to a 91-75 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night, snapping the Thunder's season-high three-game losing streak.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: April 8, 2012

The Thunder hasn't lost in a week of Sundays.

OKC's three-game losing streak mercifully died on Easter with a 91-75 victory over the Toronto Raptors before another sellout crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Good news also came on an off day when the Thunder clinched its second straight Northwest Division crown after Denver lost 112-97 at Golden State on Saturday night.

In upping its record to 7-0 on Sundays this season, OKC kept pace with front-running San Antonio for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs won their 11th straight with a 114-104 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

The Thunder (41-15) blew open its game against the Raptors (20-37) with a 24-0 run that consisted of a 12-0 stretch to close out the third quarter and a 12-0 stretch to start the fourth period that transformed a three-point lead into an 82-55 blowout in a span of 8:56.

OKC coach Scott Brooks said he was especially pleased with his defense, which held Toronto to 37.2 percent shooting from the field and allowed just 32 second-half points.

The Thunder is now 14-3 when its opponent shoots less than 40 percent and has held four of the last five opponents under that plateau.

“I think they're big, they're athletic, they're kind of everywhere,” said Raptors point guard Jose Calderon, who had a team-high 19 points. “They have different looks, so you have to be ready to ride the defense well, and maybe that was one of the problems out there.”

The victory over the Raptors began a demanding week for OKC, which plays five games in seven nights, a stretch that begins and ends with back-to-back contests.

The Thunder flew to Milwaukee after Sunday's game and will return home roughly 24 hours later after playing the Bucks on Monday at 7 p.m.



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