Kyle Lowry was missing for the Raptors through injury
Pascal Siakam scored 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 123-114 overtime win against the host Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Raptors dominated overtime. They outscored the Thunder 13-4 after letting a 19-point second-half lead slip away. Oklahoma City didn’t score in the extra period until 31.5 seconds from time.
Kawhi Leonard scored five of his 22 points in overtime. While Fred VanVleet finished with 23 points for the Raptors.
Toronto was firmly in control for much of the game. Until a late push by the Thunder cut their lead to two. Thanks to Paul George’s three-pointer with 40.9 seconds left.
George scored nine consecutive Oklahoma City points to put the Thunder back in the game. But he wasn’t around for the end after picking up his sixth foul on the ensuing possession.
However, Oklahoma City forced a stop. And then Russell Westbrook gathered a head of steam and finished with a lay-up to tie the game with less than five seconds remaining.
The Thunder had the chance to win in regulation. After Dennis Schroder drew a charge as Siakam attempted what would have been the game-winner.
Westbrook’s three-point attempt at the buzzer fell short to send the game to overtime where the Raptors assumed control.
Westbrook finished with 42 points and 16-of-29 shooting, including 5-of-10 from behind the three-point arc.
Victory moves the Raptors are just two games behind the Bucks for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
While the Raptors are surging, the Thunder’s fade continued. Since the All-Star break, Oklahoma City is only 5-10, including defeats in each of their past four games.
Kyle Lowry was ruled out of the Toronto Raptors’ game Wednesday at Oklahoma City because of a sprained right ankle.
The all-star guard was forced out of Sunday’s 128-92 rout of the visiting Knicks when New York’s Mitchell Robinson knocked him over from behind with 5:15 to play in the third quarter.
Lowry, who had just returned after missing two games with a left ankle injury, had to be helped to the locker room.
The 32-year-old Lowry has missed 14 of the Raptors’ 71 games this season: six due to lower back pain, four due to a lower thigh contusion and four because of a left ankle sprain.
He is averaging 14.8 points and 9.0 assists per game this season.
Fred VanVleet stepped up in Lowry’s absence with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting. VanVleet was able to salvage at least three short clock possessions by creating his own shot off the dribble. Crossing up Russell Westbrook and blowing by him for a straight line-drive layup in overtime was impressive, especially for a player like VanVleet, who logged 40 minutes just three games after returning from a month on the shelf. It speaks to his professionalism that his conditioning was still strong in an overtime game.
Head coach Nick Nurse elected not to use VanVleet in the starting lineup in his first game back against the Pistons, in which Toronto lost. Since then, he started against the New York Knicks in a win and started tonight in a win.
VanVleet made an impact from the get-go in this one and he kept it going all night long. The Wichita State-product finished with 23 points, six assists and two steals on 50.0 percent shooting from the field and 37.5 percent shooting from deep.
The Raptors face Thunder again on Saturday.