Few would have been expecting a close finish between the Raptors and Warriors after Golden State found themselves ahead by 25 after the first quarter, but nonetheless, a close finish is exactly what we got.
Kevin Durant led the way for the Warriors with 22 points and an impressive 17 rebounds, while it was DeMar DeRozan who shone for the Raptors, as he put up 29 points and 6 assists (DeRozan also passed Chris Bosh as Toronto’s all-time leading scorer with his 14th and 15th points of the night, which came on a mid-range pull up jumper). Toronto also saw meaningful production from sixth man Terrence Ross, who added 24 points and 7 rebounds. Despite this, it was Golden State who escaped with a solid victory.
Coming off of their disappointing loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day, Golden State came out of the gates strong on Wednesday night. Ball movement was the story early on, as the Warriors racked up 13 first quarter assists, while shooting a sizzling 72% from the field and 66.7% from three for the period. This strong opening quarter from Golden State set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Warriors maintained control through the second and third quarters of action.
Heading into the final quarter of play with a 17 point advantage, Golden State looked poised to finish out the game with an easy win, but Toronto had other ideas. Midway through the period, the Raptors, led by backcourt duo Kyle Lowry and DeRozan, orchestrated a 15-2 run that cut a 19 point Warrior lead to just 6. In the end, Golden State was able to put a stop to Toronto’s momentum and seal an important 121-111 bounce-back win, but the Raptors’ late game efforts were surely enough to give Warriors fans unpleasant memories of Cleveland’s 14-point comeback against their team from three days ago.
Raptors fans can watch their team try to rebound against the Suns tomorrow night in Phoenix, while Warriors fans can catch their team in action on Friday night when they will try to defend home court against the Mavericks.