The Toronto Raptors made a statement on Wednesday night, blowing the Golden State Warriors out of the building with a 113-93 victory, on the second night of back-to-back road games, and without their star player due to a hip injury.
On Tuesday, Nurse said Leonard tweaked his hip in Sunday's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, per TSN's Josh Lewenberg. One of the executives that has been attending many of Leonard's and Durant's games is president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, and Windhorst notes that people that high up in the front office nearly never attend games that don't involve their own team. The Raptors also won the teams' first matchup, sweeping the regular-season series from Golden State 2-0.
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Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23), forward Kevon Looney (5), guard Klay Thompson (11), forward Jonas Jerebko (21), forward Kevin Durant (35), and guard Stephen Curry (30) react on the bench against the Toronto Raptors at Oracle Arena. They did fly to Los Angeles but, with nothing on the schedule, it was a rather restful day for the league-leading club.
The Warriors lost their second straight game to the Raptors in two weeks and were so hopelessly outclassed that they sat their starters and went with their reserves late in the 4th quarter.
"We'll remember what it's like playing against them, but it's 0-0 from here", Curry told Yahoo Sports. Wednesday night was one of those nights for a Warriors group that remains calm and confident in the belief that when the bright lights of the National Basketball Association playoffs shine later in the season, they will be ready.
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"Pace", said Lowry of the difference in this one.
Green saw it too.
"Once they started missing a little bit, it took some of their confidence and you could tell they were worn out from Monday night", Green said. The Clippers, who have been so good at home this year and have to be considered one of the surprise teams in the Association to date, came out strong hitting from distance and putting an early scare into the Raptors before Toronto's fresher legs took the game over.
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The Raptors are playing the second game of a back-to-back.