It was Drake Night at the Air Canada Center on Wednesday, a special occasion for the Raptors as Toronto has not lost on the rapper’s dedicated night. Yet after losing to the Golden State Warriors, Toronto’s pristine record on Drake Night is no more.
The Raptors started the game strong, making the extra pass and getting good looks on offense. But then Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry got going and so did Golden State’s defense. The Warriors held the Raptors to 15 points in the second, forcing Toronto to shoot 5 for 24 and went into the half up by 13 points. And despite Toronto’s valiant attempt at a comeback in the second half, the Warriors never gave up their lead and ended the night with the 127-121 victory.
New Splash Bros: Although Klay Thompson struggled with his shot against the Raptors, it didn’t affect Golden State too much, mainly because they have Curry and Durant. The dynamic duo combined to score 65 points, more than half of Golden State’s total points.
Durant finished 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting. He also dished out six assists and grabbed nine rebounds. Curry was also sensational, drilling three 3-pointers and finishing at the rim with relative ease. He finished the game with a game-high 35 points on 10-of-19 shooting. When Curry and Durant are scoring 30-plus points, it is quite hard to beat the Warriors.
Dynamic Draymond: Led by Durant and Curry the Warriors closed the first half on a dominant 21-4 run. But while Durant and Curry did most of the heavy lifting on offense, it was Draymond Green who keyed Golden State in the first half.
Green was extremely active on both ends of the floor, playing tough defense and helping to facilitate Golden State’s offense. The Warriors All-Star was just everywhere and finished the half with 11 points, four rebounds, three blocks, two assists and one steal. Green’s performance in the first half was crucial to the Warriors getting and sustaining a lead.
Ball Movement: As a team, the Warriors finished the game with 33 assists and shot 50 percent, which marks the fifth consecutive game where Golden State has surpassed the 30-assist mark.
Golden State has recorded 30 assists on 39 made baskets, reaching the 30-assist threshold for the fifth-straight game.
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) November 17, 2016
Evidently, the Warriors are starting to figure things out.
Raptors going back-to-back: Toronto looked lethargic and listless for large portions of the game and that was likely because the Raptors played the Cavaliers the night before. Which means the Raptors had to face the defending champs and the Warriors on back-to-back nights. Just a brutal schedule for Toronto and provides some reasoning behind their loss to Golden State.
DeRozan is a scoring machine: For the ninth time in 11 games, DeMar DeRozan scored 30-plus points. DeRozan, in large part, kept the Raptors in the game against Golden State. He hit his patented mid-range jumper and was able to get to the line 17 times, where he didn’t miss. DeRozan shot 8 for 18 and finished the game with 34 points. He took only four 3s and made one. DeRozan just continues to be a dynamic scorer and the driving force for Toronto’s early season success.
Klay struggles: After putting together a string of games where it seemed like he found his shooting stroke, Thompson had another subpar shooting game against the Raptors. Thompson finished with 15 points and shot 26.7 percent and 27.3 percent from 3. Not the best outing for Thompson, who has just been in a funk for most of the beginning of the season. Thompson will likely shake out of it but if his struggles continue for a lengthy period of time, that could be an issue for the Warriors as the season progresses.
Shaqtin’: JaVale McGee has been trying to shed his ShaqtinAFool status for the past several years but that simply doesn’t seem possible; he just keeps making mistakes. Like against the Raptors in the first quarter, McGee messed up a Warriors fast break by trying to catch a pass that was intended for Curry. Instead of Curry catching and making a 3, the Raptors stole the ball and scored on the other end, all thanks to McGee’s mistake.
No matter where or when, McGee just can’t help being himself.