USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Raptors couldn’t keep up with the Golden State Warriors as they lost 114-102 on Monday night.
The Raptors came into this contest after dropping a close game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They were aiming to put that loss behind them without Kyle Lowry, who did not play due to back spasms. Landry Fields ended up leaving the game at halftime with flu-like symptoms and the team battled with the Warriors until the fourth.
Andrew Bogut returned to the lineup for Golden State and Dwayne Casey countered this by inserting Aaron Gray into the starting lineup. Gray, making the most of his opportunity, responded with a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds.
It begged the question, did Gray really come into the game to guard Bogut? Did Bogut rush back from injury to counter Gray? It’s food for thought.
Bogut’s impact was telling as he improved his team’s execution on both ends of the court. Western Conference All Star, David Lee, had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Stephen Curry, a player whom many felt was snubbed from the All Star Game, had 17 points.
Curry played until late in the third period but had to leave the game after spraining his foot. His absence didn’t quite hurt his team, as former Raptor Jarrett Jack saw out the game for the Warriors.
The Raptors held their own until the fourth quarter when their lackadaisical offensive execution let them down. Alan Anderson was responsible for taking a host of questionable shots as he went 2/11 on the night. The momentum that they had spent the entire third quarter building disappeared in the final stanza and the Warriors smelled blood.
DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points and added a career-high 9 assists. Gray was, not for the first time during his stay in Toronto, serenaded by "MVP" chants while shooting free throws during garbage time. That, in a nutshell, just about sums up last night’s events.
The Raptors are back in action on Wednesday as they hit the road for a tough game against the Atlanta Hawks.