Warriors Hang On to Beat Raptors
Golden State Tallies 81 Points in the First Half
The Warriors saw their 27-point lead trimmed down to a single point, but Golden State held on to close out a 127-125 victory in Toronto on Saturday night. The Dubs put up a huge first half, outscoring the Raptors 81-54 through the first two quarters, but Toronto made a game of it over the final two and pushed the Warriors to the final minute. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 26 points, while Kevin Durant wasn’t far behind with 25, including a jumper with 21 seconds remaining to seal the victory. Stephen Curry returned from a two-game absence and notched 24 points, six rebounds and nine assists, while David West scored in double digits off the bench. With the win, Golden State improves to 35-9 on the season.
TALK ABOUT A FAST START
If you tuned in late, you missed a whole bunch.
The game had a frenzied pace from the opening tip, as Toronto scored on the opening possession, and the two sides combined for only one defensive stop in the first two minutes. Zaza Pachulia gave the Dubs a 12-11 advantage with a nine-foot hook shot with 8:44 remaining in the opening frame, and Golden State would go on to lead for the duration of the contest. By the time the first quarter came to a close, the Warriors were up 43-35, their highest scoring first quarter this season and their 10th 40-point quarter of the 2017-18 campaign.
The Warriors continued that torrid pace in the second quarter, where they expanded their lead even further. Golden State began the second frame on a 16-2 run to take their first 20-point advantage of the night, and would go into halftime holding an 81-54 lead. It was the Warriors’ first 80-point half on the road since Nov. 2, 1990 at Denver, in which Golden State scored 87 points in the first half on their way to a 162-158 win. That still stands as the highest scoring game in Warriors franchise history.
STARS COME UP BIG
The Warriors haven’t lost a game in which both Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry played since November, and the two superstars combined to ensure that streak would not end on Saturday with some clutch shots in the final minutes.
Toronto mounted a massive second half comeback and closed within a single point on Fred Van Vleet’s three-pointer with just under four minutes remaining. On the ensuing possession, Curry immediately responded and came off a Durant screen and nailed a three-pointer from the top of the arc to keep the Dubs in front.
Minutes later, DeMar DeRozan’s floater with 1:03 left in regulation cut it to a one-point deficit again. Curry was fouled on the ensuing possession, but would go on to miss both free throw attempts from the line, keeping it a one-point game. After Golden State got a much-needed defensive stop on the other end, Durant got a chance to deliver a momentum-stealing blow, and did so by converting a 22-foot jumper with 21 seconds left to rebuild Golden State’s three-point advantage.
After another defensive stop, Curry redeemed himself with two free throws, which turned out to be the winning points of the game.
After winning two games in two nights, the Warriors take their 12-game road winning streak to Cleveland, where they’ll face the Cavaliers on Monday.