With our hopes of a pizza party dashed Friday night as the Raptors lost against Sacramento, all hopes for this game were turned toward avoiding two straight losses.
Luckily for the Raptors, Gary Trent Jr. returned to the lineup after missing the Sacramento game due to a quad contusion. They are only missing Otto Porter Jr. from their regular lineup.
On the Warriors side, they are still missing Draymond Green as he ramps up after serving a 12 game suspension. Chris Paul is also out after having surgery on his wrist.
As for starters, the Raptors went with the (new) usual of Immanuel Quickley, Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett, Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl. Golden State started Kuminga, Curry, Jackson, Thompson, and Wiggins.
Small interlude because Otto Porter Jr. got his Golden State Warriors championship ring from 2022 before the game and it was nice.
Otto Porter Jr gets his ring!! pic.twitter.com/M2uNbUeh4p— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) January 8, 2024
Another Raptor gets a championship ring on the Warriors court... hehe.
Okay, game time.
The Toronto Raptors got a GREAT start, and were up 12 points over the Warriors by the mis-way point to the first quarter. They were fantastic on defence, forcing Steph Curry to give away the ball and putting immense pressure on them
Nine of those first points were form RJ Barrett, who has been playing fantastic in his first week as a Toronto Raptor.
Immanuel Quickley also had a nice start to the game, dishing out the ball for six assists in the first quarter:
Immanuel Quickley has 6 assists already tonight and look at this one!— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) January 8, 2024
Live-dribble off-hand pass to the corner for a Pascal 3!! pic.twitter.com/A4s07bjaVf
At the end of the first quarter, Siakam led all scorers with 12 points as the Raptors led 36-28 over the Warriors.
RJ Barrett was on fire in the second quarter as well, getting to 17 points by the 8:00 minute mark. He was not done yet.
Barrett scored TWENTY SIX points in the first half, on 5/6 shooting from three and 10/13 from the field, just unbelievably efficient.
The Raptors led BIG after the first half, up 76-49 over the Warriors.
The Warriors started to mount a comeback in the third quarter, getting it within 13 points with three minutes to go in the third quarter.
Raptors were able to hold them off thanks to the continued excellence from Barrett, some three point shots from Trent Jr., and a buzzer beating finish by Chris Boucher. Toronto was up 101-87 going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Warriors kept pushing to try and make it a game. Luckily Barrett just kept on pushing back, and the Raptors bench continued to contribute.
The Raptors won BIG over the Golden State Warriors, 133-118 and grow to 2-1 on this six game road trip.
The Warriors just got smacked by the Raptors man. 133-118.— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) January 8, 2024
Steph Curry held to 9 points on 2-of-14 shooting.
RJ just cooked.
Raptors feasted on the inside.
The bench was amazing.
The Raptors look good! The Warriors... do not.
Let’s break down some key factors to this game:
This What Sauga Feel Like in the Night Time
This game was ALL RJ Barrett. He ended with 37 points on 5/8 shooting from three point range and 13-20 from the field. He added on six rebounds, six assists and one steal.
He was one point away from tying the record for most points in a game by a Canadian Raptor, and these 37 points were a season-best for Barrett.
He is settling in well to life as a Toronto Raptor after being traded just over a week ago. His style of physicality, increased three-point shooting, and craftiness at the rim have allowed him to thrive in his first four games.
Canadian content tonight:— Keerthika Uthayakumar (@keerthikau) January 8, 2024
RJ Barrett: 37 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 5/8 3FG
Chris Boucher: 17 PTS, 9 REB, 7/7 FG pic.twitter.com/qz6xe0Egg8
The energy from the Mississauga, Ontario born player is just what the Raptors needed prior to the trade. They look reinvigorated.
Bench Mob Rise
The Raptors finally have a strong bench again. Tonight, they combined for 50 of the Raptors 133 total points.
Chris Boucher had 17 points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and had a +17 net rating on the night. Dennis Schröder had 13 points, four assists, three rebounds tonight.
Raptors have scored at least 115 points in 8 straight games, the longest streak in franchise history. pic.twitter.com/ORpEJ28cPt— Keerthika Uthayakumar (@keerthikau) January 8, 2024
Gary Trent Jr., while also providing the entertainment of beefing with Kuminga, scored 14 points, one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block.
Toronto has desperately needed a bench boost over the past few seasons and it seems to be finally coming together. With Dennis and Gary now solidified in the bench with Quickley and Barrett up with the starters, the bench has proven experienced scorers.
The Raptors played fantastic defence. They held Stephen Curry to 0 points in the first half and nine points total on 0-9 three point shooting.
Scottie Barnes was the primary defender on Curry, with Siakam providing backup when Barnes was on the bench.
While Scottie had a less than ideal night overall, he still got a steal and a block, to go with his shut down of Steph.
Overall, the Raptors held the Warriors to 30.4% (14-46) percent shooting from three, and 45% from the field.
The Toronto Raptors have now won three of their last four games and are 2-1 on their west coast road trip.
This team seems to be re-energized in 2024 and finally seems like it has a vision. Although there are questions as we head into the trade deadline — it’s FUN to watch Raptors hoops again.
The Raptors will now head to Los Angeles to play a back to back against the Lakers and the Clippers.
Never underestimate the heart of two champions, the FIBA MVP, and a guy who has beef with Jonathan Kuminga— chelsea leite (@chelsealeite) January 8, 2024