Warriors' Curry, Durant too much for weary Raptors
Golden State pair combines for 65 points, DeRozan puts up 34 for Toronto
Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey had tried to make light of his team's impossibly tough two-game stretch.
"The computer that spit out the schedule, I'm going to find it and break it," Casey had joked.
Facing last year's NBA finalists on back-to-back nights indeed proved too tough for the Raptors, who dropped a 127-121 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, a night after a 121-117 loss to the NBA champion Cavaliers in Cleveland.
"Played both of the best teams in the NBA, we were right there, had a couple stretches where we could have put it away, but [we] gave it away," said DeMar DeRozan.
Stephen Curry scored 35 points, and Kevin Durant added 30 to lead the Warriors to their fifth straight win.
DeRozan had 34 points, the ninth time in 11 games the league's leading scorer has topped the 30-point mark. But it wasn't enough to make up for a dreadful second quarter that saw the Warriors (9-2) roar back from a 10-point deficit, outscoring Toronto 32-15 in the frame.
"The second quarter was great, one of the best quarters we've played," said Golden State coach Steve Kerr.
Raptors looked tired
The Raptors (7-4) looked tired, the Air Canada Centre crowd grew quiet, and the Warriors had stretched their lead to 19 points by early in the third.
"We got away from our defensive focus," Casey said on the second-quarter lull. "Same thing [Tuesday] night, we got screwed up on some switches and mental mistakes that cost us and once a team like that gets on a roll, it's difficult to get it stopped.
"These two games are a good test for us, they let us know how quickly mental mistakes will cost you and breakdowns will cost you and then in the second half when we got focused in, locked in, we started switching some things properly, talking, communicating we kind of got back in the game," he continued. "But you can't have lulls like that against great teams."
Kyle Lowry added 24 points, while Cory Joseph had 14. Jonas Valanciunas finished with 12 points, Terrence Ross had 11, and Pascal Siakam chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Toronto showed some life late in the third, and a Ross three-pointer cut Golden State's lead to just five points with 1:54 left in the frame. But the Raptors couldn't maintain any momentum against last year's NBA finalists, and trailed 95-86 with one quarter left.
The Warriors barely let up in the fourth, and when rookie Patrick McCaw calmly buried a three-pointer with five minutes to play to give Golden State a 17-point lead, dozens of fans headed for the exits.
Another Raptors' run cut the deficit to single digits in the dying minutes, a three-pointer by Ross making it just a six-point game with 1:07 to play. Three Ross free throws cut the lead to four points, but it was too little too late for Toronto.
The Raptors shot 45 per cent on the night, while Golden State shot 51 per cent.
Lowry echoed his coach's sentiments — offence isn't the issue.
Offence isn't the issue
"Offence is really clicking right now, but our defence is ass," he said. "We've got to play better defence. We played a high-paced team [Tuesday] and [Wednesday], but we've got to find a way to get the points down under 100 points, and play a more defensive-minded game."
The game, in front of a crowd of 19,800, marked the fourth-annual Drake Night.
The Raptors wore their Drake-inspired black and gold jerseys, while the Toronto rapper and Raptors' global ambassador sat courtside in a T-shirt of popular ESPN reporter Doris Burke over the words "Woman Crush Everyday."
DeRozan, Lowry and Valanciunas combined for 26 first-quarter points as the Raptors raced out to a 10-point lead. They went into the second up 38-34.
Toronto couldn't muster any offence in the second quarter though, as the Warriors roared back to end the frame on a 14-2 run. Golden State took a 66-53 advantage into the halftime break.