Nobody has torched the Raptors like Stephen Curry

LeBron James

The Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors played a lively, entertaining game Saturday night, one that featured Golden State scoring 81 points in the first half and Toronto almost erasing a 27-point deficit before falling agonizingly short against the defending champions. They now sit at 35-9 overall and will head to Cleveland next to face the Cavaliers on Monday, the third game of Golden State's five-game road trip.

While the Warriors get the benefit of Steph Curry likely returning to the lineup, Toronto's All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry is now listed as doubtful with a back injury.

"We expected that and we took that punch", Kevin Durant said of Toronto's comeback.

But then, in the second half - and especially the fourth quarter - the Raptors charged back, erasing that lead and bringing a once-dormant crowd to a fever pitch during the final seconds. He participated in practice Thursday night in Milwaukee with no problems and lobbied to play Friday against the Bucks, but was held out for precautionary reasons.

Curry scored 24 points, Durant had 25 and Klay Thompson added 26 on 11-of-16 shooting. The Warriors are an NBA-best 18-3 on the road and have won 11 in a row, by an average of 11.5 points.

But Toronto will have to settle for the moral victory after what looked like a would-be embarrassing loss at halftime.

Curry, a two-time league MVP, missed his second consecutive game with a right ankle sprain he suffered in shootaround on Wednesday.

The Spurs' projected starting lineup of Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Danny Green played together for only the sixth game this season and just the second time at home.

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Curry finished with 24, including a large, run-stopping three pointer late, Durant 25. His six rebounds tied Durant for the team lead.

Steph Curry is officially set to return to action on Saturday evening in Toronto, but the Warriors' star point guard won't have assistant coach Bruce Fraser there to help coach Curry through his pregame routine.

DeRozan's basket with just over a minute to go made it a one-point game again, and Curry missed a pair of free throws with 45 seconds remaining.

When the Raptors and Warriors meet, competitive games become the norm, but not Saturday night, at least not in the defining first half.

DeMar DeRozan's layup moved Toronto to within 121-119 with 2:08 left but Durant countered to give the Warriors a four-point lead.

Toronto ranks fourth in points in the paint per game (48.6) while Golden State ranks 22nd in points allowed in the paint per game (46.1).

"It happens", Kerr said about Curry's missed free throws.

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