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Warriors win in whimsical fashion over Raptors

Golden State earns their third wire-to-wire win of the season but gifted extra possessions to Toronto leaves more to be desired in the Warriors pursuit of perfection.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

OAKLAND, Calif. — Nobody on the Warriors was more happy to see the Toronto Raptors come to town than Stephen Curry.

Over his previous six games Curry was averaging 17.8 points with a modest 6 assists per game on 39 percent shooting from the field. Any team in the NBA would welcome this type of production from the point guard position with open arms.

However, due to the standard that Curry has set for himself over the course of his back-to-back MVP seasons, those types of ‘pedestrian’ numbers begin to raise the slump flags.

This brings us back to why Curry was happy to see the Raptors. His career averages of 29.9 points and 8 assists on 54 percent shooting versus Toronto are all career-highs against any one team.

Wednesday night was no different.

Curry posted a ho-hum 28 points on 50 percent shooting from the field along with 7 assists, 7 rebounds and only two turnovers.

Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr told reporters before the game to expect to see the ball in Curry’s hands a little more often as the offense continues to find it’s balance through various combinations.

With how much scrutiny the Warriors have been under this season, it can be hard to remember that we’re not even half way through the NBA season yet.

Wednesday night blessed us with more of the Steph Curry - Draymond Green pick and roll that helped lead the Warriors to 73 regular season wins just a year ago.

“We wanted to get back to running more drags,” Draymond Green said after the game while sporting a fresh to death satin rose gold bomber jacket. “I think we’ve gotten away from that a little bit and that’s still one of our money plays, one of the toughest things to guard.”

With sharp shooters like Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson spacing out in the corners, the Curry-Green drag screen is not only tough to defend, its also nearly impossible to stop. The Warriors shot 69 percent from the field through the first three quarters of action against the Raptors.

However, the Dubs continue to prove that they are the only team that can stop themselves.

After Golden State exploded to a 25 point lead after the first quarter, they continued to shoot themselves in the feet due to overly cute passing that led to unnecessary turnovers.

On one play in particular, Kevin Durant had a wide open three without a defender within five feet of him. Yet Durant forced a pass to a cutting Steph Curry that was easily picked off.

“We’re just over-passing, to be honest,” Durant admitted after the game. “We have to do a better job with that, but that’s a good problem to have. It shows a lot of unselfishness from us.”

Durant went on to make a great point that it’s not like the other team is forcing the Warriors into these turnovers; rather, the Dubs are inflicting these wounds upon themselves.

Over-passing is clearly an elite-team problem. The thought of passing up a good shot for a great shot should never be frowned upon. But it becomes risky territory when a great shot is passed up for the possibility of an even greater shot.

The hunt for even greater shots led the Warriors to commit 20 turnovers - their third consecutive game with at least 19 turnovers. Empty possessions, along with getting crushed on the offensive glass to the tune of 19 offensive rebounds from the Raptors, refrained the Warriors from pulling away.

Toronto attempted 22 more shots than the Warriors did. Even though Golden State’s defense was stifling throughout much of the game, the Raptors were able to hang around due to free possessions handwrapped by the Warriors.

There is really not much to worry about right now in Warrior-land: The Dubs own the NBA’s best record at 28-5, one of the greatest offenses in league history, and one of the association’s premier defenses.

Sure, there are holes that need patch work, most importantly turnovers, keeping teams off the offensive glass and late game execution on offense.

But only 33 games in, there is still an excruciating amount of time left in the regular season for the Warriors to continue to grow into the perfect team we have unjustifiably come to expect them to be.

Game Notes

via Warriors PR

  • The Warriors improved to 15-0 when shooting 50 percent or better (.568) this season and 17-0 when outrebounding the opposition (51-45).
  • Golden State improved to 11-0 this season when Stephen Curry (28 points), Kevin Durant (22) and Klay Thompson (21) each score 20 points in the same game.
  • Durant (22 points, 17 rebounds, 7 assits, 5 blocks) recorded his second consecutive 15 rebound effort for the first time in his career.
  • Andre Iguodala scored 11 points on 5-of-5 from the field, his seventh time scoring in double figures this season, as well as a ridiculous NBA street game breaker of an ally-oop to Shaun Livingston that didn’t count.

Andrew Flohr is the credentialed writer for GSoM. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat for behind the scenes Warriors coverage.

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