Golden State Warriors outlast Toronto Raptors 125-118
Toronto Raptors' Rudy Gay reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Monday, March 4, 2013. (AP / George Nikitin)
Published Tuesday, March 5, 2013 9:58AM EST
OAKLAND, Calif. -- David Lee had 29 points and 11 rebounds to back Andrew Bogut's strong return, and the Golden State Warriors snapped a four-game losing streak by outlasting the Toronto Raptors 125-118 on Monday night.
Stephen Curry added 26 points and tied a season high with 12 assists, and Klay Thompson scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to help the Warriors pull away with a 9-0 run late. Bogut had four points and eight rebounds in a season-high 30 minutes after missing the last six games because of a bad back.
Andrea Bargnani scored 26 points and tied a career high with five 3-pointers, and Amir Johnson added 23 points and 15 rebounds in Toronto's fifth straight loss. Kyle Lowry finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and Rudy Gay scored 26 points after missing the Raptors' loss at Milwaukee on Saturday night with back spasms.
Golden State's streaky shooting still proved to be too much. The Warriors outshot the Raptors 57 to 44 per cent and made 23 of 28 free throws.
After a frustrating 1-4 road trip, Golden State began a stretch of seven straight and 16 of its last 22 at home. The Warriors improved to 19-7 this season at Oracle Arena, where the ever-loyal fan base has sold out 17 straight games and is begging for a playoff berth.
While the defensive deficiencies remain, Golden State's offensive outpouring overwhelmed the Raptors in the end.
Thompson hit two 3-pointers and a mid-range jumper to highlight a 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter, giving the Warriors a 93-92 lead. Both teams hit the century mark with more than six minutes to play, when Golden State had only begun to hit its stride.
Harrison Barnes made a 3-pointer, Thompson added a pair of free throws and Curry swished a pull-up jumper during a 9-0 spurt to put the Warriors ahead 109-100 with 3:04 remaining.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson cleared his bench with a little more than a minute left, and it almost turned out to be too soon. Toronto got within four points three different times before Golden State put the game away with free throws.
Bogut, who was also credited with a block and an assist, did not travel with Golden State during its East Coast road trip. He also missed 42 games earlier this season recovering from left ankle surgery and often looked hampered when he did play.
The latest return of Golden State's franchise centre offered more promise.
In the second quarter alone, Bogut had three of his best plays all season: he slipped through a pick-and-roll, caught a pass from Curry and tucked the ball between two defenders to Lee for a baseline dunk. He showed some lift when he took a pass from Curry for a two-handed slam, and he finished an alley-oop from Curry that had teammates running off the bench in celebration after putting the Warriors ahead 62-50 just before the half.
Bogut often laid on the baseline instead of sitting on the bench when he was taken out. He also periodically performed stretches to stay loose.
Toronto's ailing big man had no problems getting into a groove.
After missing Toronto's morning practice with a stomach illness, Bargnani scored 12 points in the first quarter to help the Raptors go ahead by five. He also helped Toronto score 12 straight between the second and third quarters to tie the game.
The teams alternated brief bursts of offensive brilliance, including when Bogut threw a behind-the-back pass to Barnes off the dribble that brought another sold-out crowd of 19,596 roaring to its feet. Even with all of the positives behind Bogut's return, all the same defensive problems persisted.
Bargnani shredded Golden State throughout, and Alan Anderson's 3-pointer gave Toronto a 90-83 lead heading into the fourth quarter, when the Warriors' streaky shooting sealed the victory.