Preview: Warriors at Raptors
The Toronto Raptors host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday in what could be an NBA Finals preview – if the teams are at full strength. The Warriors could get some of their major pieces back in the lineup on Thursday with Stephen Curry (groin) and Draymond Green (toe) both participating in practice.
Green and Curry are both expected to return sometime during the team’s five-game road trip, and Curry has progressed to the point that he is participating in team scrimmages. “He’s just trying to get his rhythm and his conditioning down,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters of Curry, who is averaging 29.5 points while shooting 51.5 percent from the floor and 49.2 percent from beyond the arc. “He’s doing well.” The Raptors are looking like the best team in the NBA and extended the current winning streak to six straight by recovering from a 17-point deficit to earn a 122-114 win at Memphis on Tuesday. “We didn’t really bring our game with us, but we found it,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse told reporters.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), TSN (Toronto)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (15-7): Golden State is 5-5 in the 10 games that Curry has missed, though they managed to win the last three behind some strong performances from Kevin Durant. The former MVP collected 49 points, nine assists and six rebounds in a 116-110 win over Orlando on Monday that capped a four-game homestand. “Incredible,” Kerr told reporters of Durant’s performance. “The guy is just amazing. He’s so talented. I think the last few games he just kind of knew he had to put us on his shoulders because of the four-game losing streak, the struggles.”
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (18-4): Toronto leans on its depth and got 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, from reserve point guard Fred VanVleet in Tuesday’s triumph. “Obviously, we all know I haven’t been shooting the ball well, so to get back on track is always fun,” VanVleet, who scored in double figures in each of the last four games after reaching the mark three times in the first 10 games this month, told reporters. The Raptors are third in the NBA in scoring at an average of 117 points and shot 60.9 percent from the floor in Tuesday’s win.
1. Warriors PG Quinn Cook is 5-of-21 from the floor over the last two games.
2. Raptors SF Kawhi Leonard posted his third straight double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds on Tuesday.
3. Golden State took the last eight in the series, including four straight in Toronto.