January 22nd, 2018

Thompson scores 26 points to lead Warriors to 127-125 road win over Raptors


By Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press on January 13, 2018.

TORONTO – Klay Thompson had 26 points while Kevin Durant added 25 as the Golden State Warriors held on for a wild 127-125 road win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.

The defending-champion Warriors (league-best 35-9 record) earned their NBA-leading 19th road win and eighth straight victory over Toronto (29-12). Stephen Curry, the two-time league MVP, returned to Golden State’s lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury and scored 24 points.

But Toronto, which trailed by as many as 27 points in the game, outscored Golden State 71-46 in the second half.

DeMar DeRozan’s layup moved Toronto to within 121-119 with 2:08 left but Durant countered to give the Warriors a four-point lead. DeRozan then responded by cutting the Raptors’ deficit to 123-122 with 1:03 to play.

After Curry missed two free throws with 45.2 seconds left, Durant’s field goal with 21.3 seconds remaining put Golden State ahead 125-122. Curry made up for his earlier misses by hitting two free throws with 2.5 seconds left.

Fred VanVleet’s three-pointer at the buzzer rounded out the scoring.

DeRozan finished with 42 points – cracking the 30-point plateau for a club-record 92nd time. OG Anunoby added 17 while Serge Ibaka had 14 as Toronto suffered just its third home loss but finished a three-game homestand 1-2.

The Raptors also dropped to 1-2 without point guard Kyle Lowry, who’s day-to-day with a bruised tailbone. The last time Toronto beat a defending NBA champion was Feb. 8, 2015 when it got past San Antonio 87-82 at Air Canada Centre.

Toronto also fell to 11-7 versus Western Conference opposition.

Toronto outscored the Warriors 35-27 in the third to cut their lead to 108-89 heading into the fourth. Jonas Valanciunas’s dunk pulled the Raptors to within 94-83 with 3:16 remaining but Golden State ended the quarter on an 11-2 run.

Thompson had 20 points as Golden State finished the second on a 10-2 run for a 81-54 half-time lead. The Warriors controlled the quarter, outscoring the Raptors 38-19 while shooting 71.1 per cent from the field and holding a decided 22-4 edge in bench points over the first two quarters.

The Air Canada Centre gathering got to cheer when Durant missed a dunk with 2:53 left to play but the Warriors’ star came right back with a jam to put Golden State ahead 73-52.

Golden State took control of the second early, going on a 10-2 run to take a 53-37 lead 2:37 into the quarter. DeRozan was one of Toronto’s few bright spots with 25 first-half points while Anunoby added 11.

Thompson and Draymond Green had 10 points apiece while Durant added nine to lead Golden State to a 43-35 lead after the first, withstanding a 19-point effort by DeRozan. Trouble is, the remainder of Toronto’s lineup accounted for the remaining 16 points as the Warriors shot a sizzling 73.9 per cent from the field (17-of-23) and 5-of-9 from three-point range.

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