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Game Day #56: Raptors at Thunder

Toronto Raptors (20-36, 9-18 away) at Oklahoma City Thunder (40-15, 23-5 home)

 at 

Where: The ‘Peake!
When
: 6:00 p.m. CST
TV
:  FS Oklahoma (679 Directv, 37 Cox, 754 AT&T U-Verse, 416 Dish)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder Raptors
PG Russell Westbrook Jose Calderon
SG Thabo Sefolosha DeMar DeRozan
SF Kevin Durant James Johnson
PF Serge Ibaka Amir Johnson
C Kendrick Perkins Andrea Bargnani
6th Man James Harden Aaron Gray

Last time: Hard to believe, but the Raptors swept the Thunder last season. This is their first meeting this year.

Oklahoma City is in the midst of a three game losing streak.  Is it time to panic? Probably not. Oklahoma City clinched their second straight Northwest divisional crown last night when Denver lost to Golden STate. So, maybe some of the pressure is off of this team. However, don’t under estimate the Raptors, they did stun OKC and the NBA by sweeping the Thunder last year in both their meetings.

The Raptors are on a bit of a streak right now. They did lose their last game to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, they have won 4 of their last 6 games. That includes a blowout win over Philadelphia and a win over Denver.

Toronto doesn’t score a whole lot, just 91.4 points per game. However, they have a solid defense in giving up just 94 points per game.

Looks like Jose Calderon will play for Toronto.

Keys to the game

Three-Point Shooting
There is no question about it, OKC has really bit the dust lately in three-point shooting. It doesn’t help that Toronto is ranked in the top five in three-point defense. Need to take good looks, and need to make the baskets.

Turnovers
Don’t give Toronto any more possession than they already will get. YOu don’t want this team to get any more confidence and think they can take you down in your own house because of your errors. Be aggressive, but play smart.

James Harden
Harden did not play well in the past three games. It’s no coincidence that Oklahoma City lost all three games while he’s been struggling. Look for him to rebound tonight in front of a friendly crowd.

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