The Warriors continue their four-game homestand on Saturday against Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors . The first meeting of the season between the two clubs will feature another Friends & Family offer, allowing fans to save up to $79 on a package that includes four game tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks and four bags of chips. The contest is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m., and fans unable to attend the game will be able to catch the action on CSN Bay Area (HD) or KNBR 680.
Saturdays match-up is one that the Warriors cant wait for. The team feels that they let one get away in Thursdays 110-105 loss to the Trail Blazers in the opener of the homstand. Golden State led by as many as 16 points in the second half, but cold shooting down the stretch allowed Portland to out-score the Warriors 27-9 in the fourth quarter. Heading into Saturdays match-up, theres no question that Golden State will be eager to return to the court and eradicate that bitter taste left from Thursdays defeat.
One of the players to watch on Saturday night will be Monta Ellis. The Warriors guard played on Thursday after missing the prior six games with a back injury. Ellis had 17 points before ultimately fouling out in the fourth quarter, and he figures to be even more effective as he eases back into basketball shape. If Ellis is on top of his game, he is one of the most difficult match-ups in the NBA for opposing defenses. Better yet, opposing defenses must focus on him, which opens the door of opportunity for the rest of the Warriors.
Among those who can benefit from the strong play of Ellis is Stephen Curry. The Warriors leaned on the rookie guard tremendously while Ellis was out with injury, and Curry responded with some of his best basketball of the season. As discussed in the latest warriors.com blog entries, Curry is considered by many to be a top candidate for this seasons Rookie of the Year Award. The Charlotte native can certainly further his case for that honor with a strong showing against the Raptors.
Ellis and Curry will be looking to take advantage of a Raptors team that has lost seven of its last eight games. Toronto will be playing the third contest of a four-game West Coast road trip, and theres no doubt that the team will be hungry for a win to maintain its position in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Led by All-Star forward Chris Bosh, the Raptors are within two games of fifth-place Milwaukee and a game and a half of being out of playoff position all together.
Following Saturdays contest, the Warriors will wrap up their homestand against the Lakers on Monday and the Hornets on Wednesday in a Hardwood Classics contest. From there, Golden State will embark on a two-day, two-game road trip in San Antonio and Memphis before coming back home to host the Suns on Monday, March 22.
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PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
Injuries & Inactives:Warriors: Ronny Turiaf (sore left knee) is questionable. Vladimir Radmanovic (sore right achilles) is day-to-day. Andris Biedrins (athletic pubalgia), Anthony Randolph (sprained left ankle), Kelenna Azubuike (left patellar tendon injury), Raja Bell (left wrist) and Brandan Wright (shoulder surgery) are out. Raptors: None.
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