Game Preview: Raptors vs Warriors

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

Golden State Warriors (15-7) @ Toronto Raptors (18-4) 

When: Thursday, November 29, 8 P.M. ET

Where: Scotiabank Arena

Leading into tonight’s game:

Injury Report: For the Raptors, Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation) is out. Greg Monroe (back spasms) is questionable. For the Warriors, Stephen Curry (left groin strain), Draymond Green (right toe sprain), Alfonzo McKinnie (left foot soreness) and DeMarcus Cousins (left achilles rehab) are out.

Primetime: Thursday’s game against the Warriors will be a nationally televised affair as the Raptors look to snap an eight-game losing streak to the Warriors and add to their NBA-best 18 wins this season. At 15-7, the Warriors are second in the West, half a game behind the Clippers, despite having the most wins in the conference. This will be the first of two meetings between the two teams this season with the Raptors visiting Golden State Dec. 12.

Six straight: Toronto enters Thursday’s game on a season-high tying six-game winning streak. Though they trailed for much of the night on Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies, a 29-17 fourth quarter helped Toronto complete a comeback from 17 down to earn a hard-fought road win. Golden State enters the game fresh off a comeback of its own, behind a 49-point, six-rebound, nine-assist effort from Kevin Durant as the Warriors came back from an 18-point deficit to defeat the Orlando Magic. 

Extra Assists

Steady Freddy: Fred VanVleet was huge for the Raptors in Tuesday’s victory. VanVleet played 22 minutes off the bench, including the entire fourth quarter, and he finished with 18 points on a perfect 6-for-6 field goals, including 3-for-3 from three. All of VanVleet’s three-pointers came in the fourth, where he scored 12 of Toronto’s 29 points to lead the team’s comeback. He added two rebounds, three assists and three steals.

From deep: Toronto connected on a season-high 18 three-pointers against Grizzlies, shooting 18-for-33 from deep. The team had 10 threes in the second half, with Kyle Lowry and Danny Green combining to shoot 9-for-16 from beyond the arc in the game. Toronto is shooting an NBA-best 43 percent from three in their previous three contests, with nine players recording at least one three in a recent victory against the Wizards. In Tuesday’s win, eight different Raptors connected from long range.

Dialled in: With plenty of talk surrounding Thursday’s game, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is hoping his team will start with the energy and effort that was missing in the first half against Memphis. Though his team got back on track in the second half on Tuesday, Nurse would like to start off the right way on Thursday. For Fred VanVleet,  acknowledging the hype is fine, but keeping preparation the same is key. “Obviously we’re human,” VanVleet said. ”You’ll be about to feel the energy in the arena just naturally. As competitors and professionals, you try to go into every game the same way. If you do that with a good focus and good intensity, you like your chances against anybody. For me, it’s going to be the same approach as [Tuesday’s game] for tomorrow.”

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