Kevin Durant scored 24 points, rookie Russell Westbrook added 19 and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped an 11-game home losing streak with a 91-83 win against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
Toronto erased a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit before Durant hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:36 to play, and the Thunder’s young core avoided the mistakes down the stretch that have dogged them all season to pick up only their third win.
Jeff Green scored the last of his 13 points on an exclamation-point dunk with 33.8 seconds left that stretched the lead to 87-81 and all but cemented the win.
Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 22 points and 16 rebounds for his 13th double-double, but he didn’t have enough help after six-time All-Star Jermaine O’Neal missed the second half with a sore left shoulder.
Orange and blue streamers dropped from the rafters as the crowd stood to cheer in celebration of the team’s first win at home in more than a month, coming on the strength of the team’s best defensive performance of the season.
The Thunder held Toronto to 36 percent shooting, including another rough performance by Bosh, but still made it a nail-biter in the closing minutes.
Oklahoma City had been in control since a 12-0 run in the first 5 minutes until a late charge by the Raptors, who had been 1-12 in games when they trailed entering the fourth quarter.
Toronto got within striking distance as the Thunder scored on one of their first seven possessions of the final period, and Bosh cut the deficit to 73-72 when he drove past Joe Smith from the right wing for a layup. His wide-open layup under the basket tied it at 76 with 4:38 to play.
Durant fired in a 3-pointer to break the tie and then blocked Anthony Parker’s shot at the tie at the other end, and the Raptors couldn’t pull even again.
Nick Collison added 10 points and nine rebounds and Desmond Mason had seven points and 10 rebounds after both moved into the starting lineup in a shuffle by interim coach Scott Brooks.
Andrea Bargnani had 16 points off the bench for Toronto. Bosh, who was 16-for-52 in his past three games, was 6-for-18 as the Raptors lost their fourth in a row.
Mason’s presence was particularly strong early on the boards, as he grabbed five rebounds in the opening period as Oklahoma City had a rare strong start.
The Thunder took an early 14-5 lead when Durant capped a 12-0 run with a 3-pointer from the left wing, and the advantage grew to 13 when Westbrook converted a three-point play after getting fouled on a jumper.
Oklahoma City held Toronto to 13-for-45 shooting in the first half, and led 46-36 after yielding its fewest points through two quarters this season.