Oklahoma City Thunder’s skid is over

BY MIKE BALDWIN Modified: December 20, 2008 at 9:54 pm •  Published: December 20, 2008
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photo - Oklahoma City's Desmond Mason points after the Thunder forced a turnover in the second half of the NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. The Thunder won, 91-83. BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN
Oklahoma City's Desmond Mason points after the Thunder forced a turnover in the second half of the NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. The Thunder won, 91-83. BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN
The Thunder’s three young stars — and the organization’s future — made the big shots at the end, but two veterans inserted into the starting lineup also made key contributions to help Oklahoma City end an 11-game, 47-day home losing streak.

Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Jeff Green combined for the Thunder’s final 15 points in a 91-83 win over Toronto on Friday night at the Ford Center.

Teammates pointed to two pivotal plays made by Nick Collison.

Oklahoma City was leading 83-81 when Durant missed a driving layup with 1:30 to play. Toronto star Chris Bosh grabbed the rebound, but Collison ripped it away, fell to the floor and kept the play alive. The second-chance possession set up Westbrook’s 15-footer, a basket that gave the Thunder breathing room.

"Those are the kind of plays people need to recognize, Nick getting on the floor to give us an extra possession,” Green said. "And that tip-in off my missed free throw was really big to keep momentum on our side.”

The other new starter was Desmond Mason, who broke out a new pair of shoes before the game. Mason scribbled "Play Hard” on one shoe, "All The Time” on the other shoe. He did just that, grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds and helping Oklahoma City limit Toronto to 36.4 percent shooting from the field.

"Playing good defense is huge, especially when you’re trying to get yourself back on track and get some wins,” Mason said. "We had a really good defensive effort that spearheaded our offense. It shows how important defense is.”

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Friday’s Game

THUNDER 91, RAPTORS 83

TORONTO

FG FT Reb
Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Totals 238:50 32-88 17-23 15-48 19 25 83
Moon 22:55 3-8 0-0 0-5 0 4 7
Bosh 38:27 6-18 10-14 8-16 3 3 22
O’Neal 15:10 2-5 1-1 1-4 1 0 5
Kapono 27:16 4-10 0-0 0-1 4 3 8
Calderon 39:58 4-11 0-0 0-3 8 2 8
Bargnani 28:37 6-16 3-4 1-5 1 3 16
Parker 31:38 3-10 2-2 0-3 1 4 8
Graham 20:15 4-8 1-2 4-9 0 5 9
Ukic 7:48 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 0 0
Humphries 6:46 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Percentages: FG .364, FT .739. 3-Point Goals: 2-17, .118 (Moon 1-4, Bargnani 1-5, Bosh 0-1, Kapono 0-1,

Ukic 0-1, Calderon 0-2, Parker 0-3). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 11 (12 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Bargnani, Bosh, O’Neal). Turnovers: 11 (Bargnani 3, Bosh 3, Calderon, Graham, Humphries, Kapono, O’Neal). Steals: 8 (Calderon 3, Graham 2, Parker 2, Moon). Technical Fouls: None.

OKLAHOMA CITY

FG FT Reb
Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Totals 238:50 36-81 16-27 15-54 20 19 91
Durant 42:54 8-23 6-8 1-8 2 0 24
Green 28:41 5-12 2-4 2-3 1 4 13
Collison 26:07 5-5 0-0 2-9 0 5 10
Mason 37:01 3-7 1-1 1-10 4 1 7
Westbrook 31:12 7-12 5-7 0-4 8 0 19
Smith 26:27 3-7 1-2 4-8 0 4 7
Wilcox 18:43 3-8 1-5 3-8 0 1 7
Watson 16:34 0-1 0-0 0-0 5 3 0
Wilkins 11:11 2-6 0-0 2-4 0 1 4
Percentages: FG .444, FT .593. 3-Point Goals: 3-13, .231 (Durant 2-7, Green 1-3, Mason 0-1, Westbrook 0-1, Wilkins 0-1). Team Rebounds: 12. Team Turnovers: 18 (16 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Wilcox 2, Collison, Durant, Smith). Turnovers: 18 (Westbrook 5, Collison 3, Durant 3, Green 2, Watson 2, Wilcox 2, Wilkins). Steals: 6 (Durant 3, Green, Mason, Westbrook). Technical Fouls: None.

Toronto 17 19 23 24 83
Oklahoma City 26 20 22 23 91
A—18,806 (19,134). T—2:11.

Officials—Joe DeRosa, James Capers, John Goble.

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