The Warriors played another tight game against another good team.
And he result was nearly the same, save for overtime, as Golden State beat the Toronto Raptors 115-110.
The Raptors played Golden State close during the first half, the score rarely beyond a four-point margin, until the Warriors went on an 18-0 run over three of the final four minutes of the first half.
Golden State’s 12-game win streak is alive and well following the win, and the Warriors remain the only undefeated team in the NBA.
Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton responded to what he thought happened when Toronto added 36 points in the third quarter:
“Not quite sure. It’s one of those things, I’ll have a better answer after watching the film tonight. It felt like we stopped making it tough on them. … In the second half, we gave a couple open threes, some layups early on.”
The Warriors lost the rebounding battle 52-45, allowed 54 points in the paint to their 46, and the Raptors took 39 shots from the free throw line.
Nearly one-quarter of Toronto’s total, 30 points, came via the freebie, and 22 came in the second half.
DeRozan and Lowry took 25 shots from the stripe, nailing 22 of them.
The Raptors went small to open the second half, something that worked well. The Warriors tempo was matched or exceeded by Toronto’s small lineup, and the Warriors were limited to only two made three-point shots in the second half after nailing nine in the first half.
Did Toronto paint a portrait, the Mona Lisa, on how to beat the Warriors? Probably not. But it’s certainly telling that a good starting five and a weak bench managed to keep pace with the league’s best using smalls.
“We hold ourselves to a very high standard. In timeouts, in a very close game, we’re talking about things that we have to clean up. We didn’t put any pressure on them defensively in the third quarter. We were sloppy on a couple of possessions offensively. And we gave them life.”
Center Andrew Bogut added:
“Give them a lot of credit. They played very well tonight. They’re a good team. They execute well. Very well coached.”
The Warriors are battling an opponent of luxury: their first loss, and they’re closing on the first 15 percent mark in the new season without a loss.
The team remains critical of themselves, preaching high standards and disciplined basketball. The type they played to the franchise’s first Larry O’Brien trophy in 40 years.
“We didn’t feel like we played great tonight. We played good in spurts. It’s a positive sign for us that we have things to work on still. You can take positives from both sides of the ball, during wins and losses, and tonight there were things that we need to work on.”
They’re not talking about their undefeated streak internally, though with every win, there will undoubtedly be a question about it.
The Warriors, though, are trying to focus on the moment. That’s their strategy, to keep winning — to keep their minds on each individual play, each individual quarter, of each individual game.
The Warriors are the first team in more than 10 years to open the season 12-0, and only the seventh in NBA history to do so. The only other defending champion to open their season 12-0 was the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls, considered among the best teams of all time.
And since the beginning of their championship season, the Warriors have only lost two home games.
The Warriors travel to Los Angeles and will try to extend their win streak against the Clippers Thursday, before returning home Friday against the Bulls.