Toronto Raptors avoid disaster with gutsy win over Oklahoma City Thunder

The Toronto Raptors needed all hands on deck as they escaped with a narrow victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder after almost blowing a 30-point lead.

What the Toronto Raptors were able to accomplish in the stretch of games with Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell was anything but impressive.

Unfortunately, the past couple of games have not been as kind for Toronto after losing to the San Antonio Spurs and somehow nearly blowing a 30-point lead against the Oklahoma City Thunders. It’s tough to explain, maybe the rust for the returning players or the rest of the lineup adjusting back to playing fewer minutes.

You can’t take away the fact that the Raptors put up 73 in the opening half and got contributions across the lineup offensively finishing with 130 points. The issue was not the team’s offence obviously, instead, it was a couple of trends that continue to be troubling.

After allowing Carmelo Anthony to be the hero for the Portland Trail Blazers after blowing a 14-point lead, the Raptors let the Spurs erase an 18-point deficit. These aren’t powerhouse teams doing this and yet, Toronto is struggling to find their killer instinct as they have been outscored by 26 points in the second half over their last three games according to NBA.com.

Fortunately, Powell had 23 points off the bench and made some unreal shots including a hail mary like three-pointer to stop the bleeding. His offensive game has been missed especially with Fred VanVleet still out of the lineup and Siakam getting his legs back.

Eventually, the Raptors will be able to lean on Siakam and Powell like they did before they got hurt but they can’t just forget what they have on the bench in Terence Davis and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. It would benefit to give Kyle Lowry some regular rest and he saw his minutes limited a bit against the Thunder but after he was asked to carry the team, he could use more of that.

While Raptors fans can breathe a sigh of relief, you can bet that Nick Nurse’s blood pressure will have to be monitored considering these are the types of games that will make any head coach want to lose their marbles.

Next: Terence Davis continues to show potential

What concerned you about nearly blowing the 30-point lead? how long do you expect the Raptors to take to get right back on track? Let us know in the comments below. 

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