DeMar DeRozan won a shootout with Russell Westbrook, scoring 37 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 112-102 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
Making 13 or 22 field goals and 11 of 15 free throws, DeRozan, is the the NBA’s leading scorer with a 34.1 after 7 games.
Toronto teammate Kyle Lowry added 19 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds while Patrick Patterson had 13 points for the Raptors. Toronto, shot 51.8 percent from the field, has won four of five with the single loss at the hand of the Sacramento Kings.
Prior to tip-off, the Thunder (6-2) entered the night tied for the NBA’s best record, but their offence sputtered against the Raptors, and they couldn’t find and answer for DeRozan. The Thunder were led by Westbrook, who had 36 points on the night followed by Victor Oladipo who scored 18 points and Steven Adams who had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma City.
The Raptors led 62-55 at halftime behind DeRozan’s 22 points with turnovers being the story as Toronto scored 16 points off 11 Oklahoma City turnovers in the first half alone.
A bounce pass by Lowry led to a high flying dunk from DeMarre Carroll giving Toronto a 68-59 lead, and a basket by Pascal Siakam pushed the lead to 11 and led to a timeout by the Thunder. Hitting a mid-range jumper in the closing seconds of the third quarter, DeRozan gave the Raptors an 88-75 lead.
The Thunder opened the fourth quarter with a 9-1 run to cut the deficit to 89-84. Oklahoma City eventually cut the deficit to four, but the Raptors rallied, and Lowry’s 3-pointer bumped Toronto’s lead back to 10 with 3:32 to play.
Raptors are in Charlotte Friday night to face the Hornets before returning home on Saturday.