Warriors, without Stephen Curry, bid to upend Raptors
The Golden State Warriors will look to overcome the absence of star guard Stephen Curry on Friday when they visit the Toronto Raptors at Tampa, Florida.
Curry recorded 36 points and 11 rebounds against the Miami Heat on Thursday in his second game back since returning from a bruised tailbone. The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player shot 9-for-19 from the field and 5-for-11 from 3-point range in the 116-109 setback to the Heat.
Curry, however, has been ruled out for Friday’s game due to lingering effects from the injury.
The Warriors sustained their fifth loss in six games on Thursday after turning the ball over 20 times.
“Maybe, at times, we got rushed,” Andrew Wiggins said. “Couple bad decisions, that’s what it came down to.”
Wiggins finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists, but was held to only five points in the second half.
Draymond Green also finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
“This game was never really out of reach,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “But we never had control of it because our habits and our decision-making were not good.”
The Raptors lost 13 of 14 games in March, capping the month with a frustrating 113-103 defeat at Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Toronto has not had a losing season since finishing 34-48 in 2012-13.
“It’s hard to put your finger on what exactly it is because there’s a million and one things going wrong out there, but we’ve got to figure it out somehow,” Fred VanVleet said.
Recently-acquired Gary Trent Jr. scored a career-high 31 points in the Thunder loss, while OG Anunoby finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
VanVleet also filled up the stat sheet in historic fashion, finishing with 18 points, seven assists, four rebounds, five steals and four blocks. He joined Tracy McGrady, Doug Christie and Oliver Miller as the only Raptors to have four or more in each of those categories in a game.
But the Raptors were crushed on the boards 64-35 overall and 19-7 on the offensive glass by the short-handed Thunder, who were without three regular starters, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Toronto played without Kyle Lowry, who sat out for the second time in the past three games with a right foot infection. Lowry is expected to miss a week-to-10 days.
Rodney Hood suffered a right hip strain in the first half of Wednesday’s loss and is out for Friday’s game. Jalen Harris (right hip), Patrick McCaw (left knee) and Paul Watson (health and safety protocols) are also out.
“We’ve got to show up for work tomorrow and try to get another one Friday,” VanVleet said. “I don’t think we’re at the point where we’re pointing fingers or guys are blaming. I think we passed that point a long time ago. So we’re pretty cohesive and together. We’re just not playing well.”
For Golden State, Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney each left the game against Miami in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be ankle injuries. Warriors forward Eric Paschall missed his second consecutive game with a sore left wrist.
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