Oklahoma City at Toronto

Venue: Air Canada Centre
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The Oklahoma City Thunder went unbeaten at home until late December before coming up short against the Toronto Raptors.

They'll try to return the favor as these first-place teams meet at Air Canada Centre on Friday night.

Oklahoma City (50-18) won each of its first 13 home games to tie a franchise record before running into trouble in a 104-98 loss to Toronto (38-29). Kyle Lowry racked up 22 points and nine assists as the Raptors outscored the Thunder 29-14 in the fourth quarter, snapping a three-game skid in the series.

"Losses happen in this league," said Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, who had 24 points but shot 5 of 16. "They beat us fair and square, you know?"

Oklahoma City has won two of three in Toronto, suffering a 111-99 loss on Dec. 3, 2010, with Durant on the sidelines. Another victory could be hard to come by, as the Raptors are 16-5 on their own court since Dec. 28.

Toronto returns home after winning 107-100 at New Orleans on Wednesday. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 31 points and Lowry added 23 as the Raptors outscored the Pelicans 26-15 over the final 12 minutes.

"I think this is one of the hardest playing teams I've ever played on," said Tyler Hansbrough, who pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds. "We play hard every night, and not every team does that. ... We have to keep improving."

Toronto held a 48-34 rebounding edge, including 22-5 on the offensive glass that resulted in an 18-6 edge in second-chance points.

"This game was about mental toughness and physical toughness more so than skill. No matter who you're playing, you have to bring that each and every night," coach Dwane Casey said. "These last (15) games are going to be about mental and physical toughness as much as anything else."

The Thunder are looking to sweep a three-game road trip after winning 102-95 at Cleveland on Thursday. Durant, who had 35 points, 12 boards and five assists three nights earlier in a 97-85 victory at Chicago, recorded 35, 11 and six against the Cavaliers.

Durant finished 12 of 21 from the field despite starting 1 for 6.

"I just don't care if I miss," he said. "I had it in my mind that I was going to start the game off 1 for 10. That's how quickly it can change, man. I thought I might be in for a tough shooting night, but I always stay aggressive."

Durant is averaging a career-high 31.9 points to lead the NBA. He has scored at least 25 in 33 consecutive games, the league's longest streak since Michael Jordan's 40-game run in 1986-87.

"He does it every night and his consistency is remarkable," coach Scott Brooks said.

Durant should get some help from Russell Westbrook, who is expected to play after sitting out Thursday to rest his surgically repaired knee in the first of a back-to-back. Westbrook is averaging 25.2 points and 8.4 assists over his last five games.

Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas was held out against New Orleans due to a back injury, leaving his status for this game unclear. He was averaging 18.0 points while shooting 69.7 percent over a three-game stretch before getting hurt.

The Thunder are 11-2 on the road against Eastern Conference teams, while Toronto has won six of its last seven against the West.

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Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Oklahoma City1st Northwest 5923.72006-4Won 1
Toronto1st Atlantic 4834.58507-3Lost 1
Injuries
Oklahoma City
PlayerInjury
No injuries reported.
Toronto
PlayerInjury
No injuries reported.
 
Key Players
Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant, SF
38.4 Min. Per Game 38.2 DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan, SG
31.9 Pts. Per Game 22.7
5.5 Ast. Per Game 3.9
7.7 Reb. Per Game 4.4
50.8 Field Goal % 43.1
40.3 Three Point % 30.8
87.2 Free Throw % 81.6
 
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
 
Other Games
Chi 79 Final
Ind 91
NY 93 Final
Phi 92
NO 111 Final
Atl 105
Mem 86 Final
Mia 91
Bos 98 Final
Brook 114
Den 106 Final
Dal 122
Det 92 Final
Pho 98
SA 99 Final
Sac 79
Wash 117 Final
LAL 107