“Splash Brothers” party against the Raptors!
Fred Van Vleet’s three-for-three from distance and the Raptors’ opening wings hindered the Warriors greatly early in the game. Stephen Curry then led by example, using Canadian aggression to attack the perimeter relentlessly. His 13 points lead Golden State back, but 2+1 from Van Vleet give Toronto the lead (36-34).
While Pascal Siakam (2/12 shooting) and Klay Thompson (3/10 shooting) compete in foul play, Scotty Barnes’ performance and Jordan Poole’s awakening keep the two teams neck and neck (54-53). We had to wait for three consecutive defensive stops from Golden State and the first 3 points from Klay Thompson to see the Warriors take the lead at halftime (63-62).
The Warriors lost as many turnovers in the first three minutes of the third quarter as they did in the entire first minute, and Toronto took advantage of Pascal Siakam’s wake-up call to regain the lead (81-76). Behind Stephen Curry, the Warriors responded with a 22-13 run to end the period, especially with Jonathan Kuminga making 4 of 4 consecutive 3-pointers in the corners (98-94)!
The Warriors’ lead reached eight units, but the pair of Van Vleet-Siakam kept the Raptors in ambush (108-105). However, it was the Splash Brothers who decided to kill Toronto’s hopes. The two players hit the mark four times to give their teammates an eleven-point lead (125-114). So the Warriors get a well-deserved win before embarking on a tough road trip against the Thunder, Wolves and Nuggets.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Steve Kerr, Nick Nurse and defensive shift. Rivals during the 2019 NBA Finals, where Nurse revamped the box defense strategy, the two coaches again competed in creativity from the first quarter. The Raptors started with so much defense on Golden State’s rim to kill off their 3-point attempts that they left the key open. Switching to a 1-3-1, then 2-3 zone did not solve the problem. For his part, Steve Kerr picked a box over Fred Van Vleet after the point guard hit his first four shots. The strategy worked over two possessions and brought the Warriors into their game.
– Fighters set their sights. After finishing the first 6-of-22 from 3-point range, the Warriors turned things around in the second half, hitting 12 of 19 from long range. If Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson started the battles in the third quarter, it was Jonathan Kuminga who created a surprise with 4 of 4 in the last three minutes of this period. All four of his bullets were hit by similar actions. A shot from one side of the court to Stephen Curry with no one in the corner. With two players on him, Curry switches the “roller” that forces the entire Toronto defense to move in the axis, leaving Kuminga alone in the opposite corner. Golden State finished the second half 12-of-19 from 3-point range.
– The Raptors squandered their second chance. Toronto finished the game with 11 more shot attempts than their opponent, especially thanks to 14 offensive rebounds. Unfortunately, they scored just 8 points on his 14 catches. They were clumsy near the circle all match and finished the match with just 46% success in that sector. Add to that 13 of 21 free throws and you realize that the Raptors very rarely capitalize on Golden State’s mistakes.
✅ Stephen Curry Klay Thompson. The Warriors guard showed his teammates the way. He took what the Raptors defense gave him and attacked them throughout the game, finishing with 35 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds. He started the match with 3/10 before his Splash Brother made amends. He scored 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting in the second half, including 6-of-9 3-pointers.
✅ Donte DiVincenzo – Jonathan Cuminga. After Curry, DiVincenzo also attacked the circle with 12 points, and he spawns 10. Kuminga, who was not discouraged in the first half, made a decisive impact in the second half. He scored 12 of 15 points in the third quarter.
✅ Scottie Barnes. Both poised and ubiquitous, Barnes lit up the stat sheet with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
✅ Fred VanVleet. Facing Curry of the big days, Toronto’s leader gave the current answer. He came on fire in the second half before taking matters into his own hands when his side needed it. Although he finished with 28 points and 10 assists, he could not prevent his team from losing.
⛔ Pascal Siakam. The Cameroonian never found his rhythm except five minutes into the third quarter. He finished with 21 points, but 8/26 shooting.
Golden State (25-24) : travel to Oklahoma City on Monday.
Toronto (22-28): back-to-back trip to Portland on Saturday.