Raptors lose, trio ejected as streak snaps

Oklahoma's Russell Westbrook (right), who recorded a fifth straight triple-double, defends against Toronto's Delon Wright during the Thunder's 132-125 victory.
Oklahoma's Russell Westbrook (right), who recorded a fifth straight triple-double, defends against Toronto's Delon Wright during the Thunder's 132-125 victory.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • The Toronto Raptors could not keep their emotions in check after Russell Westbrook's fifth straight triple-double ended their 11-game National Basketball Association (NBA) winning streak on Sunday.

Westbrook scored 37 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and handed out 14 assists, and his heroics, including back-to-back baskets to break a tie with 54.9 seconds left, denied the Raptors the longest winning streak in franchise history.

Despite the 125-132 loss, Toronto remained atop the Eastern Conference with a 52-18 record but they were fuming after a chaotic end to the contest.

DeMar DeRozan, who led Toronto with 24 points, was ejected with less than 10 seconds to play for arguing with an official.

"You know the frustration, you know what it came down to," said DeRozan, who was still angry after the game at what he said were non-calls on obvious fouls.

"It was obvious, especially at the end of the game."

Team-mate Serge Ibaka was tossed moments later, followed by the ejection of Toronto coach Dwane Casey - although video footage appeared to show it was a fan behind him who yelled at the referee.

Casey was measured in his post-game comments, only saying that the Raptors are looking for "fairness and consistency" from officials and adding: "We'll complain in the proper way."

His reticence came on the same day that New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry and Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy were fined US$15,000 (S$19,781) each for post-game rants about refereeing.

New Zealand centre Steven Adams added 25 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder while Paul George scored 22 points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in with 15.

The Thunder (43-29) remained two games behind the surging Portland Trail Blazers (44-26), who chalked up their 13th consecutive win with a 122-109 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, for third place in the West courtesy of 23 points from Damian Lillard.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2018, with the headline 'Raptors lose, trio ejected as streak snaps'. Print Edition | Subscribe