Kyle Lowry scores 23 points as Toronto Raptors easily beat the Golden State Warriors
Kyle Lowry had 23 points and 12 assists to lead a balanced Toronto offense while leading scorer Kawhi Leonard sat out. Serge Ibaka added 20 points as the Raptors dominated Golden State from the start. Routing the Warriors 113-93 on Wednesday night to complete a season sweep.
Danny Green scored 15 points. Pascal Siakam had 13 and Fred VanVleet added 10 to help the Raptors improve to an NBA-best 23-7, matching their best start in franchise history.
They did it despite not having Leonard for a second consecutive night. Toronto’s star forward has a sore right hip and was questionable before the game before being ruled out less than 30 minutes before tip-off.
The Raptors also lost 7-foot center Jonas Valanciunas to a dislocated left thumb in the first half.
Kevin Durant had 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Golden State. The Warriors had won four straight heading into a much-anticipated showdown between two teams many expect to reach the NBA Finals.
Despite playing the second half of a back-to-back following a 123-99 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, Toronto appeared to be the fresher team. The Raptors repeatedly beat the sluggish Warriors to loose balls and outrebounded the two-time defending champs 48-40.
It was Toronto’s first win in Oakland since Feb. 8, 2004.
The Raptors beat the Warriors in overtime earlier this season behind a season-high 37 points from Leonard. Golden State didn’t have Stephen Curry or Draymond Green for that game, but both were back for the rematch while Leonard sat out.
It hardly mattered.
Toronto led by 18 in the first half and was up 93-67 early in the fourth following a three-point play by Greg Monroe. Warriors coach Steve Kerr benched his starters midway through the fourth as the Oracle Arena crowd filed for the exits.
Curry scored ten points on 3-of-12 shooting. Green was one for five and finished with two points as Golden State went 6 for 26 on 3-pointers.
Toronto went 4-0 in California this season for the first time in franchise history. While Lowry’s double-double was his 100th with the Raptors.
Coming off the heels of their blowout win against the Los Angeles Clippers, who were No. 2 in the West when the Raptors swamped them the night before. It is almost unquestionably the franchise’s most impressive back-to-back stretch in its history.
“I love Oracle,” said Lowry. They are moving to a new building next year so it’s going to be a missed place but it’s special. This is a great building. The atmosphere is unbelievable. They have done special things here. But it’s just a great building. We lost 13 in a row I guess as an organization- guess they got to start a new streak.”
“We just tried to make them uncomfortable,” VanVleet added. “They’re one of the best teams in the league for a reason and their offense [is as well], so we tried to take their main guys out and make them do things they’re not comfortable doing”
The Raptors shut down Curry and everyone else. They sent a message that was hard to ignore and won’t be forgotten.