Raptors hold off Warriors in heavyweight NBA clash
LOS ANGELES, USA – The Toronto Raptors withstood a 51-point performance from Kevin Durant to beat two-time defending champions Golden State, 131-128, in overtime in a game billed as a possible NBA Finals preview.
Kawhi Leonard scored 37 points and Pascal Siakam added a career-high 26 for the Raptors, who notched a seventh straight victory to improve their league-leading record to 19-4 in front of a jubilant home crowd on Thursday, November 29 (Friday, November 30, Manila time).
"It's a building block for us," Leonard said. "We were able to make shots, we were able to get some stops in overtime. I'm happy we got the win."
The Warriors, playing without injured stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, fell to 15-8 as they endured their fifth straight road defeat.
Durant, who also grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out 6 assists, notched his third straight game of at least 40 points – a first in his career.
Klay Thompson added 23 points and Jonas Jerebko produced 16 of his 20 points in the 4th quarter and overtime as the Warriors erased a double-digit deficit only to come up short.
After Kyle Lowry's three-pointer with 56 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter put the Raptors up 119-113, Durant responded with two three-pointers, knotting the score at 119-119 with 9 seconds left.
Coming out of a time out, the Raptors were unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer and it went to overtime.
Danny Green's three-pointer with 2:07 in the extra session put Toronto up 126-123 and the Warriors wouldn't get the deficit below 3 points from there – the Raptors stretching their lead when Lowry came up with a steal from Andre Iguodala and benefitting again when Iguodala was whistled for travelling.
"An incredible basketball game for the fans to watch," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We came up just short."
With 51 tonight, Kevin Durant has scored 144 PTS in his last three games. KD is the first #NBA player to score 140+ PTS over a three game span since Kobe Bryant poured in 153 PTS over three games in 2007. @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/WLe2ztBhiN— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) November 30, 2018
The first half had offered little to predict the late-game drama as the Raptors jumped to an early lead.
Leonard made his first 6 shots of the contest, scoring 13 points in the 1st quarter when Toronto outscored the Warriors, 38-25.
The Raptors led 67-58 at halftime. They took a 96-88 lead into the final period and were up by 10 with less than 5 minutes to play.
Despite the hype surrounding the early season clash with the reigning champs, Lowry – who finished with 10 points and 12 assists – said the victory shouldn't change Toronto's approach.
"It was a good challenge for us," he said. "We got a win. We've just got to keep going, stay level headed and take it as one game, one win and move on to the next one." – Rappler.com