Shorthanded Warriors Struggle Against Determined Raptors
Stephen Curry came just one three-pointer shy from a 50 point night on Thursday. Curry playoff career-high in points did not do enough to stop the Golden State Warriors from falling behind 2-1 after falling to Toronto Raptors 123-109.
The other Warriors scored a combined 62 points, and this was the Warriors biggest problem. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr chose not to play Klay Thompson who suffered a hamstring injury late in Game 2. Kerr made the decision based on his fear that Thompson could reinjure the hamstring that would cost him the rest of the series. The game was the first time Thompson missed a playoff game.
The Warriors were also without Kevon Looney who has been ruled out for the remainder of the series with a cartilage fracture on his right side near the collarbone the injury also happened in Game 2. The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP, Kevin Durant, also did not play as he continues recovering from a strained right calf.
The Raptors capitalized on this with a balanced attack. All five Toronto starters scored in double digits led by Kawhi Leonard’s 30 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks, and two steals.
Kyle Lowry and Danny Green struggled in Toronto, but both players had significant impacts in Game 3. Lowry knocked down five 3-pointers and finished with 23 points. Green contributed with six 3-points and finished with18 points.
The Toronto bench only contributed 17 points, but there impact on the game in particular Fred VanVleeet and Serge Ibaka was felt in other ways. Ibaka ended the game with six blocks, and VanVleet knocked down three 3-pointers and added three steals.
Curry stated, “every time we made a run or got the crowd into it they either made a tough 3, or there was a tough foul call, and they slowed the tempo down, or something went their way.”
The Warriors were hoping for more from DeMarcus Cousins unfortunately for the Warriors the center looked like a player still recovering from his quad injury. He provided no positive impact, and the Raptors exploited him consistently in the pick and roll.
Draymond Green did pour in 17 points and seven rebounds as the Warriors second-leading scorer but had a limited impact as his assist totals would have been higher if the Warriors other than Curry were able to make open shots. The Warriors as a team finished 375 from the field.
The Warriors will hope to have at least Thompson back for Game 4 while Durant’s availability remains in question.
Game 4 will take place on First night in Oakland where the Warriors look to even the series before it returns to Toronto for Game 5.
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