The Toronto Raptors are back in the win column after Wednesday’s 130-121 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder (23-18). The Thunder worked to cut a 30 point lead down to as little as 3 with minutes to play. Toronto persevered to secure their 26th win.

Toronto’s 26-14 record leaves them ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference. They retain a half-game lead over the Indiana Pacers (26-15).

Norman Powell has not lost a step. Missing both Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel, the Thunder were at a distinct interior disadvantage and Powell capitalized. Norman was a force with the ball,  scoring 23 points on 81% (9/11). This has been the trend in both of his games since his return, as he has produced 43 points on 68% (17/25) in that time.

Marc Gasol was sorely missed in his 12 game absence and he was a force during this game. Gasol operates as one of the Raptors’ main initiators on offense and produced 6 assists. He also was potent offensively, showcasing his versatility with a variety of post moves while sniping from beyond the arc.  He tallied 15 points in the contest. His true value was on the defensive side however. With Gasol on the bench the Thunder went on both a 12-5 run and a 21-4 run in the third and fourth quarters respectively.

Everybody Eats

The Raptors have thrived on their next-man-up mentality all season long. With the third most games lost to injury of all teams in the league Raptors players have held onto the 8th best win record in the league. Toronto routinely receives excellent production from every player. This showed in last night’s win, where the Raptors had 7 scorers in double digits. This also shows in their shot distribution as well, with all but one player having an assist in the contest.

Raptors Injury Report

Fred VanVleet is the last remaining Raptors player on the Injury list as he recovers his hamstring. VanVleet looks to return to the court this weekend. This gives the Raptors a fully healthy team for the first time this calendar year.

Up Next

Toronto hosts the Washington Wizards (13-27) at 7:00 PM/EST on Friday December 17. The Wizards have had a tumultuous season but remain a potent offensive force, exemplified in their last match against the Raptors. While undermanned they are still a dangerous team with Bradley Beal at the helm.