‘Warriors WrapUp’: Phenomenal first quarter helps do in Raptors 121-111; Warriors’ defense down stretch impressive, offense not so much; Durant, the (over) passer

The Warriors might have trouble with the best team in the Eastern Conference — the Cleveland Cavaliers — but they don’t have much difficulty with Toronto, the conference’s second-best team.

The Warriors beat the Raptors 121-111 on Wednesday at Oracle Arena, their 12th straight win in a row in Oakland and sixth straight overall against Toronto. The Warriors may have played their best quarter of the season when they took a 42-17 lead after 12 minutes. The Raptors whittled it down to five in the second and fourth quarters but the game never turned into a real nail-biter.

Link to “Warriors WrapUp,” the postgame radio show on 95.7-FM The Game.

Among the topics:

–Great start and a very so-so finish for the Warriors, on offense anyway. The Warriors missed 10 consecutive shots and committed two turnovers in the final five minutes, but they got away with it. They got away with it because, as usual, their defense was spectacular when it counted.

The Warriors got five straight stops in the last two minutes, which allowed them plenty of room for error at the offensive end. Late-game execution and scoring has been a problem for the Warriors this year. Well, as much of a problem as a 28-5 team can have.

It’s obvious the Warriors are still trying to figure out how they want to play late in games, and it’s showed. After the Warriors’ Christmas Day loss to Cleveland, Stephen Curry said that he didn’t get enough shots (11). The Warriors’ passing game offense can be the envy of the league, but can they run it effectively in close games?

–The Warriors had a stat in the first half that has to be a first … They had more turnovers (11) than missed shots (10). The Warriors shot 74.4 percent on their way to a 72-55 halftime lead — on 29-of-39 from the field, including 10-of-14 from 3-point lead.

–Kevin Durant finished with 22 points, 17 rebounds and six assists. He was solid again, but for his six turnovers. Durant went 8-for-15 from the floor and seemed to pass up plenty of open looks. Durant’s turnovers seemed to come when he tried to overpass, rather than taking a shot he’s accustomed to taking. Afterward, he acknowledged as much.

 

 

 

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About Steinmetz

Matt Steinmetz is a veteran San Francisco Bay Area sports journalist. He covered the Golden State Warriors for Bay Area News Group for more than a decade before becoming a television analyst with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Steinmetz currently co-hosts the "Warriors WrapUp" show and "NBA This Week" on 95.7-FM The Game, the franchise's flagship station, in San Francisco. He also co-hosts the Sal and Steiny podcast.
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