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Warriors vs. Raptors: Kawhi Leonard out with hip injury

The Warriors, the first place team in the Western Conference, face the Raptors, who are first in the NBA overall.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors will head into tonight’s game in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference while the Toronto Raptors are the top team in the Eastern Conference.

The Raptors won an overtime thriller despite 51 points from Kevin Durant in Toronto almost exactly two weeks ago during a period that the Warriors had lost six of nine games. The Warriors look for a little (meaningless) regular season revenge while pursuing their fifth straight win tonight.

The difference between that rough patch and the last four games: the return of Stephen Curry, who has averaged 31.4 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, and 5.2 assists per game during his five December games since returning from his extended injury absence.

With Curry back to his old self, Draymond Green also back, and the Warriors seemingly starting to hit a stride, Kawhi Leonard’s absence tonight figures to make this a relatively secure win.

Leonard scored 37 points against the Warriors back in that required overtime to win in the absence of Curry and Green out; you have to figure tonight’s game will be a bit tougher for them.

Leave your thoughts on the matchup and observations of the game in the comments below.