Photo credit: @Raptors
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors, without Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Kevon Looney, fought a brave, but losing battle against the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors held the lead just once in the entire contest. They led 5-4 early in the first quarter. Toronto took the lead 6-5 and never trailed the rest of the way.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had to juggle his lineup. He had the veteran, Shaun Livingston, start in place of the injured Klay Thompson. DeMarcus Cousins started for the second game in a row. The Warriors needed Cousins to put a lot of points on the board. Cousins tallied just four points as the Raptors’ Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Pascal Siakam manhandled Cousins.
Steph Curry did everything he could to keep his team in the game. Curry ended the night with 47 points. He connected on six threes to keep his team close. Draymond Green with 17 and Andre Iguodala with 11 were the only other Warriors in double figures.
The Raptors had six players in double figures. They also were connecting on three-point shots. Kawhi Leonard led Toronto with 30 points. Danny Green, Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet killed the Warriors as they made 6, 5, and 3, respectively.
The Raptors led 36-29 after the first quarter. They finished the first half leading 60-52. Curry led the Warriors with 25. No other Warrior player was in double figures. The Raptors scored the first six points in the third quarter and the Warriors, as hard as they tried, could not catch up. Late in the third quarter, the Raptors went on an 8-0 run, and they finished the period leading 96-83. It was more of the same in the fourth quarter. They could not get buckets when they needed them. They had shots blocked by Serge Ibaka and Toronto’s defense. The Warriors, without the firepower of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, could not catch up. The Raptors double-teamed Curry every time he handled the ball. The Warriors were forced to take bad shots. The Raptors won 123-109 to take a 2-3 series lead.
Game Notes: The Raptors shot 52.4% from the floor and held the Warriors to 39.6%. The Raptors were 17 for 39 from 3-point range. The Warriors were 12 for 36. The Raptors made five more threes than the W’s, and that was the difference in the game.
Up Next: Game 4 of the best-of-seven series will be played Friday night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors are hoping the Durant and Thompson will be able to play. Game time will be at 6 pm.