Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 11/7/12
OKLAHOMA CITY Sometimes a home loss against an inferior team can be the kind of jump-start a team needs to get going again. And sometimes Toronto comes to town. Both happened for Oklahoma City. After losing to Atlanta on Sunday in a listless, surprising and error-filled game by the Thunder, slump-busting Raptors showed up at Chesapeake Energy Arena and made it a game right up until tipoff. After that, it was over, but not official until the end of the fourth quarter, 108-88 Thunder. Oklahoma was one of the first states called for Mitt Romney Tuesday night, but the win over Toronto was even more predictable. The Thunder came into the game 1-2 and played so poorly against the Hawks there was no chance for Oklahoma City to do anything but improve against the Raptors. "It's always good to get a win," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Even if you win by a big margin, it's not easy. We did that tonight. We had a tough loss, but we're not going to put our head down. If we have a good win, we're not going to pump our chest." Probably not a game that would be considered celebration worthy, but the Thunder can take a bit of pride in the fact they played defense Tuesday when it sure looked like it was optional Sunday. After the Hawks went off for 49 percent shooting with a team of reserves and without Josh Smith, the Thunder held Toronto to 35.7 percent from the field. "The start was a big part of the win tonight," said Brooks of the Thunder getting out to a 30-17 first-quarter lead. "We talked about starting the game with a defensive mindset and we did that in the first quarter. We played solid basketball.I thought all around it was a good win for us." It's too early to project the Thunder should panic, however it was a 1-2 first week where there's plenty of room for concern from player rotation to defense and turnovers yet OKC showed it can beat teams like Toronto when it plays good defense, even if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have a less-than-impressive night. "With our group when we play the defense we play, it's great basketball," Brooks said. Toronto isn't the barometer for whether teams play good or whether they play bad as evidenced by Durant and Westbrook combining to shoot 9-for-22 from the field and no one even really noticing. "There were ready to play and we weren't," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "Bottom line is, I didn't recognize our team tonight. We didn't come out with the approach that we normally do. We have to come out and compete. We didn't do that and that's what we've been talking about." The Thunder led by 13 at the end of one quarter, but 19 at half and by 22 at the end of three quarters. That was enough for the Thunder starters to get the rest of night off and enough to spin the season forward. "We started the game with the right intensity," Durant said. "With a lot of energy. Everyone down the line was good tonight. That's what we need to get better." Down the line means big minutes and production from Hasheem Thabeet who played 22 minutes and scored 10 points. Thabo Sefolosha had his best game of the season, making three-of-five 3-pointers and scoring 11 points and Kevin Martin scored 15 points, making it four games in a row he's gotten to double figures. Maybe it was Toronto coming in and possibly it had something to do with its point guard Kyle Lowry going out, as he was lost for the game with an ankle injury right before halftime. Perhaps it was Atlanta stealing a win Sunday. The combination seemed to be the right fit for the Thunder to play well Tuesday. "It was a good lesson," said Durant. "We have to come out with energy. That game is behind us. This game is behind us. We have to get ready for the next one." Figure Durant, who hasn't had a huge game this season, is due for a highlight performance. Westbrook has been good once, but not great for three games. However, also figure when the Thunder plays defense, they'll win. "We moved," Brooks said. "We were all over the floor."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

City of Memphis to return millions in tax money to NBA players

Stephen Jackson rips Kevin Durant on Instagram

Tyronn Lue was not pleased when Cavs fired David Blatt

C.J. McCollum calls out old timers for their mouthguard opinions

Adam Silver defends Draymond Green suspension decision


Sean Payton agrees with Brees setting contract deadline

Report: Lakers not high on DeMar DeRozan

Knowshon Moreno planning NFL comeback attempt

Report: Jets offered Fitzpatrick $24 million over three years

Ray Rice still hoping to play in NFL in 2016?

Report: Malcolm Butler seeking new contract before season

For Kevin Durant, the future in Oklahoma City is now

WATCH: Ben Simmons hits insane soccer-inspired trick shot

WATCH: Mason Rudolph completes pass to receiver on a jet ski

A-Rod's daughter honors dad with homework assignment

Kevin Durant: Thunder won't watch video from Game 6

Jhonny Peralta cuts thumb opening box, has return delayed

Warriors-Thunder Game 6 one of highest-rated in NBA history

WATCH: Meet the mustache men of Wake Forest baseball

WATCH: Golfer goes crazy after winning BMW with hole-in-one

WATCH: Manziel confronted by owner of rental car company

Giants positioning themselves for another World Series run

Athletes who served in the United States military

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

QUIZ: Name every NBA franchise's original incarnation

The 15 biggest playoff upsets in NBA history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker