February 26th, 2024

Thunder overcome 23-point deficit to beat Raptors 135-127 in double-overtime

By Tim Willert, The Associated Press on February 4, 2024.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Josh Giddey scored 24 points, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 23 and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a 23-point deficit to beat the Toronto Raptors 135-127 in double-overtime Sunday night.

Chet Holmgren and Lu Dort each added 22 points and Aaron Wiggins had 20 to help Oklahoma City improve to 35-15. The Thunder tied a team record with 23 3-pointers on 63 attempts.

“They made us uncomfortable in the first half,” Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said. “You never know how a team’s going to play you, so it took us obviously a little bit to calibrate that. It was an impressive show of confidence by our team … to go out there and get that one.”

RJ Barrett led Toronto with 23 points. Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl and former Thunder guard Dennis Schroder each scored 19 points. The Raptors made 14-of 35 3-pointers.

Dort scored six points in the second overtime, hitting a 3-pointer to put the Thunder ahead 121-118 and converted a 3-point play later to make it 127-123.

Gilgeous-Alexander, who failed to score at least 30 points for the first time in 10 games, made a 3 to tie it 118 in the first overtime. He then blocked a shot by Gary Trent just before the buzzer that would have won it for Toronto (17-32).

“It was a gutsy win for sure,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “What we brought in the second half was needed. In order to win in a sustainable way requires you to trust each other. The guys that we have in the locker room trust each other, so because of that we were able to win.”

Aaron Wiggins’ layup following a turnover by Barrett tied it at 110 with 4.7 seconds left in regulation, and Barrett missed a 3-pointer as time expired.

“Played on the road against a really good team, “Toronto coach Darko Rajakovic said. “I thought that the first half we did an outstanding job, both on offense and defense.”

The Thunder missed 18 of 25 3-point shots in the first half and trailed by 16 points at the break. The Raptors led 76-53 in the third quarter before the Thunder went on a 17-2 run to pull to 78-72 with 3:02 remaining.

Oklahoma City played without forward Jalen Williams (sprained right ankle) and guard Isaiah Joe (bruised sternum) for the third straight game. Williams is the team’s No. 2 scorer and Joe leads the Thunder in 3-pointers.

UP NEXT

Raptors: At New Orleans on Monday night.

Thunder: At Utah on Tuesday night.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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