The Toronto Raptors got one big piece of the puzzle back on Sunday when Pascal Siakam made his return from a groin injury, though it did not result in a win. Siakam will try to find his shooting form and lead the Raptors back into the win column when they visit the surging Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.
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Siakam scored 12 points in the first quarter on Sunday but went 0-of-5 from the floor in the second half and Toronto squandered an 18-point lead in a 105-104 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. "I feel like I kind of lost my rhythm a little bit," Siakam, who finished with 15 points on 6-for-17 shooting, told reporters. "Eventually, I'll be better with that, but first time back out there, I think I did a decent job. I felt I could have been way more aggressive, so I'll be waiting to be more aggressive and just try to find my rhythm in a better way (and) learn from it." Siakam and company will need to find a way to keep Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander off the glass on Wednesday. Gilgeous-Alexander passed Shaquille O'Neal to become the youngest player ever with a 20-rebound triple-double when he recorded 20 points, a career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a 117-104 victory at Minnesota on Wednesday.
TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: TSN 1/4/5-plus, FS Oklahoma
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (25-14): Shooting guard Norman Powell, who suffered a shoulder injury in the in the same game in which Siakam was injured, returned on Sunday as well and delivered 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting in 31 minutes. Powell and Siakam watched Toronto go 6-5 in the 11 games they missed, and each will be monitored carefully over the next few weeks. Kyle Lowry collected 16 points and 15 assists in Sunday's loss and told reporters, "We stopped playing. We stopped being aggressive. We stopped being assertive."
ABOUT THE THUNDER (23-17): Gilgeous-Alexander joined former Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook as the only guards in the last 30 years to record 20 points and 20 boards in a triple-double on Monday. "Coach challenged me before the game to fill the stat sheet and do more things because he thought, and I thought, I was more capable of what I was doing," Gilgeous-Alexander told reporters. "I just tried to give my full effort out there." The 21-year-old Kentucky product scored at least 20 points in each of the last four games and is averaging a team-best 19.9 points.
1. Raptors C Marc Gasol (hamstring), who went down in the same game as Siakam and Powell in December, could return this week.
2. Oklahoma City F Danilo Gallinari recorded a season-high 30 points on 8-of-12 shooting on Monday.
3. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 32 points in a 98-97 win at Toronto on Dec. 29.