The Thunder left for Canada on Thursday afternoon and will not return home until Tuesday night. After tonight’s game in Toronto the team will stay three nights in Boston, practicing in Boston on Monday before departing to play San Antonio on Tuesday night, the back end of a three-game road trip. Oklahoma City’s next home game is next Friday (April 3) against Portland.
Scouting TorontoOklahoma City has an opportunity to post its only season series sweep. The Thunder defeated the Raptors 91-83 on Dec. 19. Considering OKC was 2-24 entering that pre-Christmas game, the win over Toronto did more than end an eight-game losing streak. "That was a big win for us,” said guard Russell Westbrook. "Toronto is a good team. They’ve made a few changes. It’s two different teams now, so it will be a little different.” The rosters have changed since the first meeting three months ago. The Raptors traded for Shawn Marion. The Thunder signed Nenad Krstic soon after the Toronto game and traded for Thabo Sefolosha at the Feb. 19 trading deadline. "We’ve watched that film,” said coach Scott Brooks. "You still pick things up, whether it’s a player’s tendencies or a team characteristic. They have a good team with some talented players. Just because their record isn’t good, they play well at times. On their home court they’re a very good team.”
"Nicked” upTied for the team lead in double-doubles with 14, Nick Collison said a strained groin he suffered two weeks ago hasn’t completely healed. Collison, though, said the injury hasn’t gotten worse. During Thursday’s brief 45-minute practice, Collison worked out on the side with the training staff. Also playing with a splint on both hands (broken left thumb and chip fracture on the middle finger on his right hand), Collison plans to play through the injuries the final 11 games of the season.
Fast breakAfter starting the season 3-17 in games decided by six points or less, the Thunder has won its last three close games against Washington, Sacramento and San Antonio... Rookie forward D.J. White, sidelined most of the season following jaw surgery, did not make the road trip due to a stomach virus. There’s a chance White might return to the Tulsa 66ers in the Development League. White averaged close to a double-double (17.3 points, 9.7 rebounds) in three games with the 66ers... OKC has won 12 consecutive games when holding its opponent to less than 100 points. BY MIKE BALDWIN