OKLAHOMA CITY, Ok. -- For the second straight game, the Oklahoma City Thunder led their turnovers get the best of them and buckled in the final few minutes.
Despite an at-times stellar performance by Russell Westbrook of 22 points and 16 assists, the Thunder let the Toronto Raptors in with a 12-1 run over the final 2:11 to take a loss in their second-straight contest after starting out 2-0.
The Raptors hit all eight of their free throw attempts over that span to fully take advantage of multiple key errors by Oklahoma City and improve to 5-0 with the 103-98 win. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 28 points and five boards.
Westbrook contributed eight giveaways to the Thunder's 19 on the night and also missed countless layups where he should have found the bottom of the net for two. Kevin Durant and Enes Kanter did help balance out the team's shooting efficiency on the night, as Durant scored 27 on 10-18 shooting from the field, and Kanter dropped 15 while making seven of 11 field goals. The two combined for 13 boards.
Toronto attempted 39 free throws to Oklahoma City's 14, generating uncontested offense with the clock stopped at the end of the final two periods. The team also managed to find a lane often, scoring 50 points in the paint, led by the 17 points and 11 boards of Jones Valunciunas. DeMarre Carroll added seven boards and four steals to go along with his 13 points on the night.
Kyle Lowry struggled at the point as well in this one, as the Raptors guard turned over the rock five times and went 5-14 on the night to end with 17 points, four rebounds, and just one assist.
It really was a quarter-by-quarter game, where Oklahoma City started out each half strongly but the Raptors proved themselves the supreme closers, putting together two amply-robust half-ending periods to claim the dub. OKC led by 10 after the first but was trailing by one at the half; the Thunder led again by eight through three, but conceded a 30-17 fourth to suffer their second loss of the 2015-16 season.
Oklahoma City once again struggled to find reserve depth behind Enes Kanter and DJ Augustin in the loss, receiving just one other bench basket throughout the course of the contest (from Nick Collison).
Turnovers were again the issue, with Westbrook the main culprit, despite coach Billy Donovan's remarks after the team's 24-turnover loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday.
"We've really got to try to make some strides and get better in that area," said Donovan on Monday.
The Raptors, now 5-0, are set to take on the Orlando magic on Friday in their third-straight game away from the Air Canada Centre. Oklahoma City, on the other hand at 3-2, visits the Chicago Bulls Thursday in another clash between great point guards and the Thunder's high octane offense versus a strong defensive-minded side.