TORONTO (AP) — Drake Night or not, the Golden State Warriors pushed aside the Toronto Raptors.
Though the Canadian rapper and Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador had never had to witness his hometown team losing on his special night the first three years it had been held, he was powerless to stop the star-studded Warriors leaving town with a 127-121 victory Wednesday night.
It didn’t stop him chirping the Golden State bench at various points, particularly in the first quarter when the Raptors were up by 10 points.
“He’s been talking junk for a couple weeks now, talking about they were going to beat us and that it’s Drake night,” Draymond Green. “He may be a little disappointed.”
Stephen Curry had 35 points and Kevin Durant added 30 in the victory, the Warriors’ fifth straight overall as well as their fifth consecutive win over Toronto.
While Golden State coach Steve Kerr was a little upset at how the first quarter unfolded, giving up 38 points to the Raptors, he termed the second quarter, “one of the best quarters we’ve played.”
Case in point, the Warriors restricted the Raptors to 5-for-24 shooting, outscoring them 32-15 and ending the half on a 21-4 run to seize a 66-53 lead at the break. The 66 points were the most the Raptors have given up in a first half at home since surrendering 71 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 25, 2014.
While incorporating Durant into the offense remains a work in progress, the team continued to share the ball around the likes of former most valuable players Curry and Durant, with the team finishing with 33 assists on 44 baskets. It was the seventh time this season that the team has had 30-plus assists.
“Offensively we’re moving the ball, no one is in each other’s way and we’re making shots,” Durant said. “We could have had 40 assists tonight.”
DeMar DeRozan had a team-high 34 points for the Raptors, while Kyle Lowry added 24 as Toronto lost back-to-back games for the first time this year. Toronto lost 121-117 in Cleveland against the NBA-champion Cavaliers Tuesday night.
DeRozan, who was 17 for 17 from the free-throw line, is the first NBA player with nine 30-point games in his team’s first 11 games since former Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan in 1987-88.
It was scant consolation for the NBA’s leading scorer, who is averaging 33.3 points per game.
“We played both of the best teams in the NBA,” he said. “We were right there with them and had a couple stretches where we could put it away. We gave it away.”
Warriors: Kerr is one win away from the 150th coaching victory of his career. With 33 assists and a 50.6 success rate from the field, the Warriors set a franchise record with a fifth straight game with at least 30 assists and shooting over 50 percent. ... With 10 field goals made, Curry moved past Joe Barry Carroll (4,010) for eight place on Golden State’s career list.
Raptors: Along with Brooklyn, Toronto is the only team to face Cleveland and Golden State in back-to-back games. ... The Raptors out-rebounded Golden State 46-35. The Raptors dropped to 5-2 this season when DeRozan and Lowry combine to score 50 or more points.
ENJOYING THE VIEWS:
Drake wore a shirt bearing the likeness of ESPN’s Doris Burke as well as the words “Woman Crush Everyday,” Drake explained that he’s a big fan of Burke. He then sat courtside as the Raptors wore their Drake-inspired black-and-gold uniforms.
BE THE SHOES:
“The shirt was really nice but his boots were so bad and I was a little disappointed in his outfit overall. It’s Drake Night; you’ve got to bring better boots that that.” — Green on the all-black clothing and footwear Drake chose to wear on his special night.
Warriors: Continue four-game trip in Boston on Friday night, where they have won three straight against the Celtics.
Raptors: Visit Denver on Friday night to wrap up the season series with the Nuggets.