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Fri, Mar 27, 2009 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Raptors fast start sinks Thunder

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TORONTO (AP)

The Toronto Raptors put this one away early. Chris Bosh had 21 points and 13 rebounds, Shawn Marion added 20 points and 11 rebounds and the Raptors opened up a big lead in the first quarter before cruising to a 112-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. "Everybody was on the same page," Marion said of Toronto's 17-2 scoring surge. "We got stops when we needed to, everybody was stepping up and it just started clicking." The Raptors, who led by as many as 25, avenged a 91-83 road loss to the 2-24 Thunder on Dec. 19. Bosh called it "a good win," but said he wasn't motivated by revenge. "It's a long season," Bosh said. "You really can't hold onto the past like that. You just move on. It was tough when it happened, but it was a while ago." Jason Kapono scored 15 points and Andrea Bargnani had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who matched a season high with their third straight win. Toronto has won three straight two other times: to start the season, and between Jan. 23 and 28. Nick Collison scored 21 points and Kevin Durant had 18 for the Thunder, who have lost four of five. "We feel like we didn't ever make a push," Collison said. "We didn't string together enough stops. It was a disappointing loss for us. We've got to be able to stop what we're doing here and change how we're playing." The Thunder had just two offensive rebounds in the first half, which Durant said was an indicator of the team's effort. "We could have played a lot harder, obviously," Durant said. "That's tough because that's the easiest thing to do in basketball, to play hard. We've got another game coming up to redeem ourselves, but this one is tough because we could have controlled the game earlier by playing harder, getting into our offense better and stopping them on the defensive end." Hassled by Marion all night long, Durant struggled to a 4-for-13 performance, doing most of his damage by shooting 9-for-11 at the free-throw line. "Shawn did an outstanding job guarding him," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "(Durant) is a great player, but Shawn was just kind of there all night." Oklahoma City scored the first five points, but never led again as Toronto took control with a 17-2 run over the next four minutes. Bargnani scored six points and Jose Calderon had five during the spurt to give the Raptors a 28-12 lead after one quarter. "They have a great, athletic team," Durant said. "They get up and down. We knew that coming in, but we couldn't stop it. It was tough." Thunder coach Scott Brooks said his players must produce an improved defensive performance when they visit Boston on Sunday. "Defense is two things," Brooks said. "It's a mind-set and it's also helping each other out and we didn't have either one tonight. We have to make sure we get back to that the next couple of games." Bosh had four points and five rebounds in the first, then added 10 points and seven rebounds in the second to give him his 35th double-double of the season by halftime. It's the second time in three games he's recorded a first-half double-double. The Raptors led 51-40 at the break. Bosh and Marion each had dunks as the Raptors opened the third on a 9-2 run, forcing the Thunder to call timeout at 9:43 with Toronto ahead 60-42. Marion had 14 points in the third as Toronto took an 84-65 lead into the fourth.

Notes

Bosh has seven double-doubles in his past nine games. ... Toronto center Pops Mensah-Bonsu returned after missing Wednesday's victory over Milwaukee with a sore right knee. ... Toronto guard Quincy Douby, who signed a 10-day contract Tuesday, made his Raptors debut in the fourth and had two points. ... The Raptors outrebounded the Thunder 54-37. ... Oklahoma City is 6-29 on the road and has not won back-to-back road games all season. The Thunder won 97-90 at Minnesota on March 22.
Tagged: Thunder, Raptors

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