Saturday NBA game preview: Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors

Annette Crawford
January 14, 2018

While the Warriors get the benefit of Steph Curry likely returning to the lineup, Toronto's All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry is now listed as doubtful with a back injury. Toronto went on a 23-6 fourth quarter run to shrink Golden State's lead to 116-115 with 3:54 left to play. The headline going forward will be several officiating decisions that appeared to tip the balance. "We're kind of just this old country school up north", Casey said with a smile. "I've got to have an explanation ..."

"The way we played in the first half, we gave them way too much respect".

The Warriors play the Raptors on Saturday night before returning to the United States to play in Cleveland on Monday against the Cavaliers.

He also noted that Toronto is the only National Basketball Association team without a post-game TV show even though it is the third-largest market. It would be bad for the Washington Generals. "I dreamed about this as a kid so it was pretty sweet", he said. "I've got to look at them and see", Casey said. The defending champion Golden State Warriors come into the Air Canada Centre playing better than ever, winners of six of their last seven. At that point, missing was more remarkable than scoring for Golden State. Halfway through the season, the Raptors are second in the Eastern Conference standings, three games behind Boston and four games ahead of Cleveland.

The Raptors closed the gap to one with 32 seconds remaining, but Durant shut the door with a jump shot after a DeMar DeRozan miss.

But in the fourth, when the real comeback was achieved, DeRozan was largely rested.

The Raptors play differently this year - less hero-ball, more movement - but the other significant change is in the quality of their bench.

Even the absence of sharpshooting star Stephen Curry and a low-key night for fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson couldn't slow down the best team in the West at the end. Combine that with the Warriors playing on the second night of a back-to-back and there is a real opportunity to wear the Warriors down. But it still meant something.

DeRozan finished with 42 points - cracking the 30-point plateau for a club-record 92nd time.

"Yeah, definitely", VanVleet said, when asked if it's hard to play through debatable calls that go against his team. They are doomed to compare the greatest lifestyle in the world against the people they sit beside at work, and find it wanting. The officials were calling a foul on Poeltl, who couldn't possibly have blocked the shot any cleaner. "That (Poeltl call) was a back-breaker".

With three seconds left, Toronto lost possession on a call turned over after a procedurally incorrect review. While the Greek Freak got his points and showed a level of athleticism that honestly doesn't seem human, his forays to the hoop were reminiscent of a runaway train (in the negative sense), and he was outfoxed by Durant and David West on a handful of occasions. It won't change anything in the larger picture. Serge Ibaka is back, at least, to help add some 3-point shooting, rim protection, and switchability, a must against the Warriors.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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