Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors hustled, shot, smiled and coasted to their third victory in a row, 112-96 over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.
The home side built a 51-40 halftime lead and never looked back, making amends for an embarrassing 91-83 setback to the Thunder on Dec. 19.
Bosh led the way with 21 points and 13 rebounds for Toronto, which also won three straight in late January to open the NBA season. It was the forward's 11th double-double in his last 16 games.
Five Raptors reached double digits: Shawn Marion (20), Jason Kapono (15), Andrea Bargnani (14), Anthony Parker (12) and Bosh, while Nick Collison posted 21 points and seven rebounds in a losing cause.
"We're moving the ball, when everybody is getting off the ball and making quick-decision passes, it makes the game that much easier," Marion said of the Raptors' 36-assist effort.
Guard Jose Calderon, who missed practice Thursday after jamming his right ring finger in Wednesday's win over the Milwaukee Bucks, returned and added seven points and nine assists.
Toronto will attempt a fourth consecutive victory on Sunday, at home against the Chicago Bulls at 3:30 p.m. ET. The season series is tied 1-1.
At 35-38, the Bulls hold down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, 7½ games ahead of the Raptors.
Friday's triumph was the third straight for Toronto against a sub .500 team, following victories over the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee, and raised its record to 27-45.
Oklahoma City dropped its second straight contest and sixth in eight outings to fall to 20-52 in the West. In their previous six starts, the Thunder had allowed an average of 99.3 points per game.
The Raptors held quarter leads of 28-18, 51-40 and 84-65.
Toronto got off to a quick start thanks to some aggressive defence. The Thunder turned the ball over five times in the first quarter, leading to 12 points by the Raptors.
"We knew we wanted to come out and play aggressive on defence," Bosh said. "We tried to protect the paint and give them one contested shot. When we did that, we got out and ran and everyone was touching the ball. It was fun basketball."
Toronto used a big run in the first quarter to build a comfortable lead, then Marion took over in the third quarter when he scored 14 of his 20 points on 7-for-8 shooting.
Coming out of the half, the Raptors extended their lead as Marion dunked off a long feed from Bosh and Bargnani nailed a three-pointer.
Toronto was up by 21 points at the 6:48 mark. The Thunder managed to get as close as 14 points but Marion reeled off six points in the final three minutes of the quarter, including a running slam dunk, to restore the Raptors' lead to 19 entering the final 12 minutes.
Toronto, which was 8-of-18 from the three-point line, didn't look back in the fourth, extending their lead to 25 points before sitting all their starters.
The Raptors managed to hold Kevin Durant to 18 points on 4-for-13 shooting. He had come into the game as the league's fourth-leading scorer with 25.9 points per game.
"I thought Shawn [Marion] did an outstanding job guarding [Durant]," Raptors head coach Jay Triano said. "To hold him to four field goal attempts, he's going to get fouled and he's a great player but Shawn was just kind of there all night."
Toronto, 3-1 on its current homestand, seemed to build on the momentum gathered in the victory over the Bucks, when the Raptors set season highs with 12 three-pointers and 35-for-40 shooting from the free-throw line.
After a brief stumble — the Thunder opened an early 5-0 lead thanks to a couple of errant passes from Bargnani — the Raptors came out firing on all cylinders. They went on a 17-2 run over four minutes to go up 17-7 and build a comfortable 28-18 lead by the end of the first quarter. Bargnani made up for his miscues with six points and Calderon hit two jumpers, including a three-pointer, to rally the Raptors.
Toronto started the second quarter by going on an 11-2 point run to extend its lead to 39-21, when Joey Graham hit a six-foot hook. The Thunder whittled that down to nine but that was as close as they could get.