The Golden State Warriors were expected to exact revenge on the Toronto Raptors for a defeat early in the season. Instead, the Raptors went into Oracle on the second night of a back-to-back, without the injured Kawhi Leonard, and delivered a 113-93 thumping.
Kevin Durant did his best, scrapping his way to 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists in the loss. But it was the Splash Bros who were no shows in this heavyweight exhibition between the two best teams in the league. Klay Thompson scored a paltry 14 points, and Stephen Curry contributed a feeble 10 points. The normally dynamic duo were limited to 2-of-1
Kyle Lowry led Toronto scored in double digits with 23 points as all five starters. Oakland since 2004.
Toronto Ran out to an early 31-22 advantage the rim and suffocating defense.
The champs shot 3-for-17 from downtown in the first half partly because the Raptors are experts at running shooters off of the three-point line , and so because the Warriors are flat out missed a few open ones. Offensively the Raptors could not shoot much better from the arc (4-of-14), but kept a downhill attack and shot 51% from the field after two quarters. They scored 30 points in the paint and looked comfortable with them in transition or methodically posted up in the half court.
And this was without "Cornrows" Leonard! Yeesh.
Jonathan Valanciunas dribble and sent the Raptors' center reeling in pain.
Injury update at GSW: Jonas Valanciunas, left thumb dislocation. Will not return.
– Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 13, 2018
Oh yeah, and Durant blowing through Toronto's defense Serge Ibaka
Other than that jam, Toronto's length and athleticism walled the dubs away from the rim. Raptors 57, Warriors 41
The Warriors started playing a more focused fire of defense. Mike Tyson is looking for a soul rattling knockout. Sadly, those threes did not really land, and the Raptors weathered the storm with calculated aggression on both ends.
He was battled in spirited fashion, but every time he scored, the raptors answered with ease.
Productive but painful quarterback for Kevin Durant.
– Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 13, 2018
The Raptors took all their time posting up Warriors defenders with impunity, especially if they could get a big man guarded by a small man on a switch. It's like CLOCKWORK. Toronto so completely neutralized the Warriors pick-and-roll by smothering the ball handlers and forcing them to quickly give up the ball. The Raptors' backside rotates up any potential problems, and the Warriors found themselves throwing up desperation mid-range jumpers without any daylight.
As the Raptors calmly strangled the life out of the warriors down the stretch, it dawned on me that this is the first team this season. These dudes can ball.
The Warriors were limited to 47% shooting from the field, and only made 6-of-26 (23%) from beyond the arc. It's always tough to win when Curry has more turnovers (4) than made field goals (3).
Drake's drinking champagne tonight, folks. When's DeMarcus's cousins join the lineup again?