OAKLAND – The Warriors took a flurry of big Canadian boots to the backside Wednesday night, coming away with a 113-93 loss to the Raptors at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors (19-10) were thrashed most every way possible by Toronto (23-7), a team playing its second game in 27 hours and doing it without MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard.
Kevin Durant scored 30 points (a team high), while Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 24 on 10-of-29 shooting from the field.
The Warriors were 0-2 against Toronto this season, only the second time since Steve Kerr became coach in 2014 that they’ve been swept in a season series.
Here are three takeaways from a game in which the Warriors were competitive for all of about five minutes:
Who were these guys? While the Warriors were resting Tuesday in the Bay Area in anticipation of this game, the Raptors were blowing out the Clippers in Los Angeles. That’s not how it looked once the ball was tipped.
Toronto went on a 15-2 run to go up 22-9 with 5:42 left in the first quarter. The Warriors got no closer than six the rest of the way.
When they weren’t a step slow on defense, they were flat-footed as Raptors raced around and beyond them. The Warriors, who played at such a searing pace in beating Minnesota two nights earlier, often operated at a slug’s pace.
That’s not who they’ve been, it’s not who they are and it’s not who they can afford to be if they are to defeat the team with the best record in the NBA.
They did a terrific job on Curry: Curry has a splendid history against the Raptors, averaging 29.8 points and 8.1 assists, better than against any other team in the league. On this night, he barely had room to breathe.
With Leonard out with a bruised hip, the Raptors altered their lineup. They moved shooting guard Danny Green to small forward, point guard Kyle Lowry to shooting guard and inserted sixth man Fred VanVleet at point guard.
VanVleet clearly had one defensive goal, to make Curry miserable. The Wichita State product clung to Curry like a rubber magnet. Curry finished with 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Curry generally tees off against Lowry, a mediocre defender. Though VanVleet got plenty of help, he also is a much more determined defender and it showed.
Durant’s value was visible: This was one of those nights that illustrate why the Warriors need Durant. The offense was being suffocated and nobody on the team overcomes that better.
It was not enough. Not even close.
Every Warriors run, and all of them were brief, were the result of Durant’s offensive work. His 30 points came on 13-of-22 shooting, including 2-of-4 from deep.
The Raptors had an answer most every other member of the Warriors. They had none for Durant, who also led the team with seven rebounds.
The biggest stain on his game was turnovers. He was a responsible for five of the 19 committed by the Warriors.