TORONTO — When Kevin Durant baited Toronto forward Chris Bosh into cheating across the lane to supply a show of help defense, Durant whipped a pass to a wide open Nenad Krstic for an uncontested two-handed dunk.
The play gave the Thunder a 19-point lead Friday night, oddly enough just 14 seconds from the same time Oklahoma City took its 19-point advantage in Charlotte two nights earlier.
This time, the Thunder closed out the half and the game, first extending its lead to 27 at the break and bumping that to as many as 34 before walking out of Air Canada Centre with a 115-89 victory.
"That was our best game of the year,” assured Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
The 26-point margin of victory trails only the Thunder’s 28-point home blowout of Orlando six games into the season. But much more significant than the final score was the way the Thunder handled business after blowing its big lead against the Bobcats and coming to Canada on the heels of a 100-92 loss that ended its five-game winning streak.
Oklahoma City never trailed after taking a 19-17 lead with 4:46 remaining in the first period. The Thunder ended the quarter on 24-8 surge that turned it into a blowout early.
By halftime, the Thunder had built a 71-44 lead, effectively slamming the door shut on any hope the Raptors or their fans had at a comeback. And by the time Eric Maynor dribbled out the clock from high above the left wing, the boo birds in Toronto made their voices heard for the seventh time on the night.
Well, to be fair, one chorus of boos was directed at the officials, not the home team.
"It’s big,” said Nick Collison of the Thunder’s performance. "The way seasons go in the NBA, momentum I think is a real thing.
Friday's box score