Meanwhile, Clippers hold off Love and Pacers ruin Stevens’ return.
There were just three games on the NBA schedule on Sunday night, but there were plenty of talking points as the Toronto Raptors won in Oklahoma City to inflict a first home loss of the season on the Thunder.
Oklahoma City were in the midst of a nine-game winning streak, had moved to 13-0 at home so far this season and arrived home after defeating rivals the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night.
However, all that went out of the window as the Raptors continued their impressive work on the road and secured a 104-98 win on Sunday.
Kyle Lowry scored 22 points while Amir Johnson had 17 points and 13 assists for Toronto, who have now won four straight road games as they move into top spot in the Atlantic Division.
“It’s one of those mysteries we have, of our focus on the road,” coach Dwane Casey said, as reported by ESPN. “We’re a different team. I see it in our eyes before the game.”
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant had 24 for the hosts, but it wasn’t enough as they missed their final four shots to let the game slip away from them.
Elsewhere, Kevin Love had a monster night in Los Angeles as he scored 45 points and grabbed a season-best 19 rebounds, but it still wasn’t enough to help the Minnesota Timberwolves defeat the Clippers.
Two clutch shots from Jamal Crawford as well as some game-defining errors from the visitors ensured that Love’s efforts were in vain, while Blake Griffin was the top performer for Doc Rivers’ men with 32 points and 10 rebounds.
“We just blew it. Blew the game. I don’t know how else to say it. We blew the game,” Love told reporters after the game.
Coach Rick Adelman conceded that it was a tough loss for his players to deal with having played so well for the majority of the game, but didn’t want to go into too much detail at the risk of being fined.
Nikola Pekovic had a career-high 34 points and 14 boards, but ultimately it wasn’t enough for the Timberwolves to spring a surprise.
In the third game of the night, the Indiana Pacers kept things much more simple and completed a routine 106-79 win over the Boston Celtics.
Paul George had 24 points while Danny Granger showed he still has plenty left to offer with four three-pointers as the Pacers move to 22-5 for the season.
Lance Stephenson finished with his third triple-double of the season, as George pointed towards the team’s energy and their hard work on the defensive end in limiting their opponents as one of the main factors of their success.
Since losing back-to-back games, the Pacers have been almost untouchable and they have shown a real desire and champions mentality to cement their place at the top of the Eastern Conference heading into the festive period.
Boston Celtics 79-106 Indiana Pacers
Toronto Raptors 104-98 Oklahoma City Thunder
Minnesota Timberwolves 116-120 Los Angeles Clippers