TORONTO — The Golden State Warriors had been enjoying their fifth sport in eight days, their third sport in 4 days and the second of a back-to-back set.
All these fatigue-inducing circumstances appeared fairly irrelevant for a lot of Saturday evening, because the defending champions constructed a 27-point lead halftime lead over the Toronto Raptors at on the Air Canada Centre.
However then within the second half, and particularly the fourth quarter, the Raptors charged again, erasing that lead and bringing a once-dormant crowd to a fever pitch through the ultimate seconds.
And the Warriors throughout that span? They appeared flat, and considerably out of types – particularly when Stephen Curry, who returned from a one-game absence due to a sprained proper ankle, missed a pair of free throws within the ultimate minutes.
Nevertheless, the Warriors had been saved by a late Kevin Durant jumper with 21.Eight seconds left, serving to them seal a 127-125 win over the Raptors, who had been coming off a 133-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday evening.
Curry completed with 24 factors, Durant scored 25 and Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 26.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 42 factors on 17-of-31 taking pictures from the sphere. Saturday marked the primary time this season that the Raptors misplaced when DeRozan scored 30 or extra factors; that they had been 11-Zero in such video games.
Whereas temperatures had been frigid exterior, the NBA-best Warriors began off white scorching. They scored 43 first quarter factors, their most in a gap body this season. They scored 81 first half factors, their season-high for any half.
And issues actually acquired out of hand when the Warriors used a 16-2 second quarter run to take a 59-37 lead.
However the Raptors did not lay down, particularly behind DeRozan, who notched his 92nd profession 30-point sport, passing Vince Carter for essentially the most in Raptors historical past. Toronto went on a 23-6 fourth quarter run to shrink Golden State’s result in 116-115 with Three:54 left to play. However the Warriors acquired key area targets from Curry, Thompson, and Durant to forestall a blown lead.
Had the Warriors misplaced, it might have been fairly an upset. Coming into Saturday, NBA groups had been 988-Eight when main by 25 or extra factors at halftime within the shot clock period (since 1954-55), in keeping with ESPN Stats & Info.
The Warriors earned their 12th straight street win, enhancing their street file to 19-Three this season. They now sit at 35-9 general and can head to Cleveland subsequent to face the Cavaliers on Monday, the third sport of Golden State’s five-game street journey.