Despite another big early hole that grew to as many as 20 points, the Raptors found their legs in the second half and used a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull within 90-86 with 7:15 to play. The Raptors were amped up, the crowd was finally into it and the Warriors promptly snuffed it out.
Stephen Curry hit a 13-footer the next trip down the floor and added 12 points the rest of the way -- including two three-pointers -- to weather the storm. The Raptors fought hard to nearly claw back, but just couldn't get the requisite stops to threaten for a lead.
Curry and backcourt-mate Monta Ellis got buckets early, often and when they needed them late on Monday. The multi-skilled guards combined for 57 per cent of the Warriors' scoring (62 points), shot it at an incredible clip (a combined 56.4 per cent) and posted three steals apiece.
Ellis, who was helped off the court after landing awkwardly on a baseline drive with 1:20 to play, used his speed athleticism and range to rack up 25 of points in the first three quarters. Curry wasn't exactly far behind with 18 points, but he caught fire in the fourth with another 16 points
A subdued start for Sonny Weems in his return from a one-game absence due to knee tendinitis. But he was in attack mode when he hit the floor to start the fourth quarter and went to work.
In a sample of play you'd want Weems to PVR and re-watch endlessly, he scored most of his 12 points in the fourth on a series of drives, including one spectacular finish at the rim and helped nearly bring the Raptors back. He's gone good game/bad game so far this season, hopefully he can build on his effort on Wednesday.
"Our bigs weren’t up, our guards weren’t into their men and they got some momentum and by the time we got aggressive with our defence, it was too late. They had already built confidence shooting the basketball and we dug too deep of a hole. We played in the second half the way we should have from the beginning on, but I credit our bench that came in and gave us good energy."
- Jay Triano, on Monday's result.
Wed., Nov.10 vs. Bobcats
7 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590
The Raptors must now dust themselves off and prepare for their first Eastern Conference foe in almost two weeks. The Bobcats can relate to the Raptors' early-season woes -- their lone win over the Nets has been sandwiched by a pair of three-game losing streaks to leave them also at 1-6. Toronto took two of three meetings with Charlotte last season and holds a 14-7 all-time record.
|0-5||Raptors' record vs. Western Conf. teams this season|
|5||Games Raptors have been outscored in the 1st quarter. They're 0-5 in those games.|
|32||Raptors rebound total -- a season low|
|39-18||Bench scoring favouring the Raptors|
|8||Season/ game-high assist total for Jarrett Jack|
|“With the way we started, I thought we were going to be the ones putting pressure on them with them playing the back-to-back, make them use those legs that they used yesterday and force them to play from behind."|
- Jarrett Jack, on falling behind... again
|"I just think we are doing our case with rebounding. That is going to be our calling card. As long as we can limit teams to one shot opportunities we are going to have a chance to be close in games."|
- Warriors head coach Keith Smart on his team's rebounding
|"We couldn’t stop the pick-and-roll, that was kind of the big thing that they picked us apart on. We'll come back and work on it and see what we did wrong."|
- Linas Kleiza, on the late rally