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Thunder basketball: Listless Thunder falls again

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY Published: March 28, 2009
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photo - Toronto’s Jose Calderon, left, tries to take the ball from Thunder guard Russell Westbrook during Oklahoma City’s 112-96 loss Friday at the Air Canada Centre. Ap photo
Toronto’s Jose Calderon, left, tries to take the ball from Thunder guard Russell Westbrook during Oklahoma City’s 112-96 loss Friday at the Air Canada Centre. Ap photo
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uot;Defense is two things. It’s a mindset, and it’s also helping each other out. And tonight, we didn’t have either one. We have to make sure we get back to that the next couple of games.”

Toronto (27-45) out-rebounded the Thunder 54-37 behind double-doubles from Chris Bosh (21 points, 13 rebounds) and Shawn Marion (20 points, 11 rebounds). It was the rebounding department in which the Thunder looked most aloof, often standing and watching as Raptors hustled to the glass at every occasion.

"We rely on that, and we didn’t rebound well,” said Collison, who finished with a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds off the bench. "Some of that was because we didn’t defend well either, so we had breakdowns and were forced to rotate a lot. And other parts of it was just us not being into as maybe we needed to be.”

The Raptors’ lightning quick guards, starter Jose Calderon and reserve Roko Ukic, also had their way with the Thunder, knifing their way in the teeth of the defense and setting up teammates for open jumpers. Ukic had a game-high 10 assists, and Calderon added nine to help the Raptors finish with 36 assists on 48 made baskets.

"Right now we’ve hit a speed bump,” said Jeff Green. "But we need to get back to the drawing board and continue to work.”