Gilgeous-Alexander, Dort Leads Thunder over Raptors

TORONTO – Canadians Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort made the most of their trip home on Wednesday.


Gilgeous-Alexander, from Hamilton, had 16 of 26 points in the crucial third, while Montreal’s Dort scored 22 and was a defensive brick wall in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s thrilling 110-109 win before the Toronto Raptors.

Gary Trent Jr scored 24 points in a game the Raptors thought they won thanks to Justin Champagne’s header at the buzzer. The Raptors swarmed the rarely used Champagnie before the shot was disallowed – the review video shows the ball still in his hand as the sirens go off.

Fred VanVleet had 19 points and nine assists for the Raptors (11-14), while Scottie Barnes had 18 points and eight rebounds. Chris Boucher finished with 11 points.

The Raptors led with 13 points in the second quarter, but their offensive behavior stopped in the third quarter. The Raptors were only able to collect 12 points in the quarter, while the Thunder finished goal with a 25-3 win with an 87-76 lead to start the fourth inning.

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When Derrick Favors scored the winner against the Raptors early in the fourth quarter to take the visitors to 13 points, boos could be heard from the 19,800-capacity crowd at Scotiabank Arena.

The Raptors won the round by six points with three in a row from VanVleet. Then, Siakam, Trent and VanVleet hooked up to tie the game with 59 seconds to play to end the game, taking fans out of their seats.

Muscle Champagnie onto the basket in 18 seconds to lead two points, pounding chest to celebrate. But Mike Muscala hit three points with 8.9 seconds to play, which would have been the game’s starter when Champagnie’s entry tip was disallowed.

Injuries continue to torment the Raptors. OG Anunoby missed his 10th game with a hip injury, while Khem Birch missed his sixth game in a row and 10th this season with a swollen knee. Coach Nick Nurse said the two will be sidelined for “the near future”.

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And Precious Achiuwa (shoulder tendonitis) sat out Thursday’s game, denting Toronto’s already depleted attack.

“Hopefully that’s short-term,” Nurse said of Achiuwa.

Siakam is a perfect 4 for 4 with 9 points in the first quarter. The Raptors hit 68.2% in the frame and VanVleet hit three pointers with 4.1 seconds left on the clock to take a 36-26 lead to start the second.

Trent picked up 12 points in a second quarter, seeing the Raptors rise 13 points over three-pointed Yuta Watanabe with 1:03 to play. The Raptors entered the break with a 64-54 lead.

Gilgeous-Alexander and Dort combined 58 points in the Thunder’s 114-103 win in Detroit on Monday, stopping Oklahoma City’s eight-game losing streak. That victory came one game after Oklahoma City were trailed 152-79 by Memphis, the biggest win streak in NBA history.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault was hoping for great nights from his two Canadian players.

“They are very proud of where they come from,” says Daigneault. “I am just happy for them that they are going home. . . I think that’s pretty amazing whenever a player can play close to home, but coming from this country, I think it adds an extra layer. ”

The Raptors host another Canadian at the RJ Barrett and New York Knicks on Friday. They finished seven games spanning the entire season and Monday against Sacramento.

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This Canadian Press report was first published on December 8, 2021.

© 2021 Canadian Press Gilgeous-Alexander, Dort Leads Thunder over Raptors

Huynh Nguyen

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