Photo Credit: NBA Getty Images
The Toronto Raptors took the final matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder this season with a 112-106 victory. Despite being short handed, the Raps got their third consecutive win for the first time since February 21st and have handed the Thunder their tenth consecutive loss. Toronto now brings their record to 24-34 this season and are still in conversation for the final play-in position.
It was a Montreal takeover tonight, with Raptors’ Chris Boucher and Khem Birch along with Oklahoma City’s Luguentz Dort all in the starting lineups. Boucher and Dort went back and forth at each other, showing out for their hometowns and putting Montreal on the map. With different players out of the normal rotations for both sides, it gave a chance for other secondary players to have elevated roles on the offensive and defensive end. The Raptors were able to capitalize on second chance points and limited turnovers, out-rebounding OKC 16-9 on the offensive end and committing only 15 turnovers. The Raps concluded the game with a late 8-0 run in the last 3 minutes of the final quarter to ultimately take the contest.
Luguentz Dort continued his hot streak and came out firing in this game. In the first quarter alone Dort did not miss a shot, going 7-7 from the field and 5-5 from deep for 21 points. He finished the game with 29 points on 9-15 shooting.
Fellow Montrealer Chris Boucher had an amazing game from start to finish, carrying the offensive load and helping the Raps secure the win. He was able to keep up with Dort in the first quarter with 17 points and 3 triples on 6-9 shooting from the field. He finished with a big 31 points and 12 rebound double-double, with 6 of his 12 rebounds coming on the offensive boards. Teammate Khem Birch was solid on both ends as well, finishing the game with 7 points and 6 rebounds along with 1 steal and 1 block.
Gary Trent Jr. returned to the lineup after missing two games with a right ankle injury. He had an impressive return and continued to be a force on the offensive and defensive end, stepping up in the second half to secure the win. Despite poor shooting, he finished the game with 23 points, including 5 threes and a career high 5 steals. With the uncertainty of the Raptors rotation for their upcoming games, expect elevated playing time for Trent Jr., Boucher and the rest of the Raptors second unit.
The Raptors conclude their five-game home stand this Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets. Tune into the game live at 7:00 p.m. EST.