The Dubs gave up a double-digit fourth quarter lead, but hung on to get the victory.
It wasn’t a pretty fourth quarter by any stretch of the imagination, but the Golden State Warriors will take the win.
Damion Lee hit a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds left as the Dubs hung on for a 106-105 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Pascal Siakam had a chance to win it for the Raptors, but his 20-foot jumper from the top of the key rimmed out as time expired.
Andrew Wiggins led the charge against his hometown team, finishing with 17 points, four blocks and four assists, while six other Dubs players also scored in double figures.
Opponents continue to make things hard on Steph
We saw the L.A. Clippers do it when they beat Golden State, and the Raptors implemented a similar game plan.
Toronto’s head coach, Nick Nurse, had his players trap Stephen Curry often with the Raptors double-teaming him as soon as he got a step on his defender. The plan worked out well, with Steph looking uncomfortable all night.
Curry finished the game two-of-16 and connected on just one of his 10 attempts from the beyond the arc, finishing with only 11 points. But the other Warriors did an excellent job of keeping active and creating offensive opportunities.
There was a play early in the third quarter that showcased how to effectively counter teams when they are concentrating so hard on Curry.
Green had the ball on the top of the key, and you can see the defenders trying to ensure Curry doesn’t get the ball. Andrew Wiggins reads the play well and cut to the basket for an easy assist for Draymond.
There will be plenty of more games where the opposition will make Curry’s life difficult. Head coach Steve Kerr will need to draw some more plays and counters when the defense overplays Steph.
Uneven performance by the bench
With Curry struggling throughout the first half, the bench stepped up and helped the Dubs take a 61-51 lead at the half. Eric Paschall and Damion Lee had of the 25 bench points at the break, and it looked like Golden State would pull away.
Steph couldn’t buy a bucket in the third quarter as well, but Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre got going, helping the Warriors take a 15-point lead going into the final quarter. As is customary, Curry was on the bench to begin the fourth, and the Raptors began their comeback.
Toronto went on a 16-7 run to cut the deficit to six and make a game out of it. Paschall and Williams combined for just seven points over the final 12 minutes, but Golden State was able to make enough plays on defense to get the win.
“[Bazemore’s] been fantastic. Eric Paschall has really given us that scoring punch. I thought Brad Wanamaker was really, really good tonight. And Damion Lee has now basically won two games for us,” Kerr said after the game” “Really, really happy with the defense and the second unit. Those were the two things we were trying to lock in at the beginning of camp.”
Draymond Green’s playmaking
Green has looked increasingly better since missing the first four games of the season while dealing with a foot injury. He started slowly but has since regained the form we are used to seeing from the X-time All-Star.
This was Draymond’s best game of the season. He finished just shy of a triple-double with 10 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Green helped keep the offense going, with Curry having an off-night by setting up teammates for easy buckets throughout the game.
With the Warriors struggling to score over the final six minutes of the contest, Green came up with a big play when he found Kent Bazemore for an easy lay-in with just over a minute to go that put the Dubs up 104-103.
Draymond will continue to improve as he gets more game action, which will be a massive bonus for Golden State going forward.
The Warriors are 6-2 over their last eight games and continue to look like they’re coming together sooner than expected. The defense has continued to improve ever since the deflating blowout loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and the team is finding ways to win when Curry is having an off-night.