The Thunder have won six straight games going into tonight, including the last three games with Kendrick Perkins as their starting center. They allowed fewer than 90 points in all three of those games, so it looks like their defense has been given that extra boost the Thunder needed to be taken seriously in the playoffs.
Not that the Raptors fare well against most teams, but the Thunder usually provide a particularly tough matchup because of their deadly combination of skill, speed and youth. When they last met on December 3 in Toronto, the Raptors won by 12 because Kevin Durant wasn’t playing. This game has “blowout” written all over it.
Toronto: A rare clean slate for the Raptors, aside from Linas Kleiza.
Oklahoma City: Kevin Durant is probable for tonight with a bruised left shoulder.
1. Do you think the acquisitions of Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed make the Thunder legitimate championship contenders?
2. Would you trade DeMar DeRozan for James Harden?
3. Which Raptors would you like to see get more playing time as the season winds down?
4. Were Andrea Bargnani’s 18 free throw attempts on Friday a fluke or was that part of a new trend? He’s gone to the line 47 times in his last five games.
5. If you could bring back either Leandro Barbosa or Reggie Evans next season — but not both of them — which one would you choose?
Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani
Oklahoma City: Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins
It’s 30 minutes to gametime as I type this and I’m not feeling particularly inspired, so you get “Thunderstruck” for your pregame song today. But there’s a twist! It’s this dude, Igor Presnyakov, playing the song on acoustic guitar.