NBA News Wire
Green posts triple-double as Warriors defeat Raptors
OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green holds the distinction of having matched Magic Johnson’s triple-double total at Michigan State with three.
Now the third-year pro has begun to chase the legend in the NBA as well.
Green recorded his first professional triple-double Friday night, and teammates Klay Thompson and Marreese Speights contributed 18 points to a 23-5 spurt to open the second half, as the Warriors ran away from the Toronto Raptors 126-105 in a battle of teams with the best records in each conference.
In running their best-in-basketball record to 26-5, the Warriors recorded an 11th consecutive win at home and 10th without a loss against Eastern Conference competition this season.
“When you’re a good team like we are, there are certain games that stand out. Like tonight,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after his club’s 10th consecutive win over Toronto. “I think our team felt that threat. I like when we play those teams. I like it when we feel that heat and have to respond.”
Point guard Stephen Curry had 32 points to go with 12 assists, and Speights poured in 26 points to complement eight rebounds. But it was Green who had the best all-around game among the Warriors with 16 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, not to mention his two steals and two blocked shots.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever catch him,” Green said of Johnson’s 138 career triple-doubles. “But it’s a start.”
Kerr also would like to see Green approach Johnson in another category — All-Star Game appearances.
“I don’t know if he’s going to make the All-Star team,” Kerr said of Green. “But he would have my vote.”
The win was the Warriors’ third in a row to open their current six-game homestand. The average margin of victory in the three wins has been 24.7 points.
Playing their fourth game in seven nights out west, the Raptors (24-9) were down just five at halftime before the Warriors exploded to open the third period.
A 3-pointer by Thompson began the run 41 seconds into the half, and a driving hoop by Speights 5:33 later capped it with the Warriors having built an 89-66 lead.
Thompson had 10 points and Speights eight in the flurry.
“Our turnovers are what killed us,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of his team’s 17 miscues, four of which occurred in a 69-second span of the Warriors’ game-breaking run. “Against a trapping defense, you can’t dance with it. You have to move the ball and then attack.”
Toronto rallied within nine on two occasions in the fourth quarter, including one final time at 110-101 on a jumper by backup guard Lou Williams with 5:02 to play. Williams had 11 of his 20 points in the fourth period.
But Curry countered with a driving hoop to create a double-digit difference again, and he added three more hoops, including a pair of 3s, in a 14-0 burst that put the Raptors away for good at 124-101.
Curry’s 12 assists allowed him to pass Al Attles and move into seventh place on the franchise’s all-time assists list. He did not commit a turnover in 34 minutes.
“I’ve seen him play a lot of great games,” Kerr said of Curry. “This is right there near the top, if not at the top. Thirty-two points, 12 assists and no turnovers … you can’t do much better than that.”
Thompson was a third Warrior with 20 or more points, finishing with 20.
The Warriors shot 53.3 percent in the game and totaled 35 assists, giving them back-to-back games with 35 or more assists for the first time since 1994.
Backup guard Greivis Vasquez had 25 points to lead the Raptors, who lost a second straight on the road for the first time this season. Toronto was beaten in overtime at Portland on Tuesday.
Point guard Kyle Lowry added 22 points — his sixth straight game with at least 20 — and eight assists, and power forward Amir Johnson recorded a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double.
“That’s a well-oiled machine,” Casey said of the Warriors. “We competed in certain areas, but every mistake we made, they cashed in on.”
The Warriors led by as many as 14 in the first half, thanks in large part to 7-for-13 accuracy from 3-point range.
But it took the Raptors just 1:26 to make the big deficit almost completely disappear late in the second period. They made five consecutive shots, including 3s by Vasquez and shooting guard Terrence Ross, in a 12-point flurry that got them within 52-50.
The Raptors went on to lead by two before the Warriors finished the half on a 9-2 to run to take a 66-61 lead into halftime.
NOTES: The last time the Warriors faced the top team in the Eastern Conference as the winningest team in the West was Feb. 29, 1976 against the Boston Celtics. … The Warriors matched their season low with nine turnovers. … PF Draymond Green became the 22nd player in Warriors history to record a triple-double. … Toronto’s last win at Golden State occurred on Feb. 8, 2004. … The Raptors have one more stop (Sunday at Phoenix) before returning to Toronto to end a stretch of 17 consecutive days between home games. … Raptors SF Landry Fields returned from a five-game absence due to a concussion suffered Dec. 19 at Detroit. He had two points and three rebounds in 16 minutes.
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