The Warriors’ modest three-game win streak came to an end Thursday night, when their late comeback they took a 131-128 loss at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
The defending champs overcame an 18-point deficit to get the game into overtime but faded during those final five minutes, committing five turnovers and being outscored 12-9.
Toronto (19-4) snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Warriors (15-8).
Here are three takeaways from one of the most spectacular games of the season:
KD, still cooking
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson carried the offense during the three-game winning streak, with Durant averaging 41.7 points and Thompson 27.0.
They carried the offense again on this night – with Durant doing most of the heavy lifting.
Durant poured in a season-high 51 points – including 18 during a ferocious third-quarter push by the Warriors – on 18-of-31 shooting, including 4-7 from deep and 11-of-12 from the line. He added 11 rebounds and six assists.
This was Durant’s sixth career 50-point game and he joins Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Curry as the only Warriors to post three consecutive games with at least 40 points.
Thompson finished with 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field, including 3-of-9 from beyond the arc, but missed three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter despite getting decent to good looks on all three.
This team can’t wait for Stephen Curry until comes back. That’s scheduled for Saturday.
They were late early
The Warriors opened as if they were wearing ankle weights. They were a step slow with defensive rotations and a beat behind on many of their passes.
That was enough to not only help the Raptors find their offensive rhythm but also stay in it. While the Warriors were wiping the sleep from their eyes, Toronto built first-quarter leads of 20-6 and 32-14.
The Warriors in the first quarter committed six turnovers, off which Toronto scored 12 points. The Raptors shot 72.7 percent from the field in the quarter, including 60 percent from beyond the arc.
The Warriors spent the rest of the game trying to climb out of a well and managed to do so ever so briefly. They outscored Toronto over the final three quarters and OT but fell short at the end.
This game begs for a postseason rematch
This matchup of two of the NBA’s elite teams lived up to the billing and perhaps beyond it given that the Warriors were without Draymond Green and Curry.
The game within the game, featuring Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard and Durant, was one for the ages. Leonard finished with 37 points, adding eight rebounds and three assists.
With the exception of 14 seconds of the first minute, the Warriors spent the entire game trailing.
The Raptors basically owned the game and still had to sweat it out and hold on.