A win over the Toronto Raptors (23-38) on Monday night lifted some of the weight off of the shoulders of the Golden State Warriors (34-27). They were able to come home and snap a four-game losing skid, immediately gaining some momentum for their current seven game homestand. Combined with a Utah Jazz loss and Houston Rockets idle, they were also able to re-build a little cushion in the standings.
It will be important for Golden State to take advantage of its favorable schedule down the stretch and beat the sub-par teams. They did just that on Monday night.
Golden State got the good team effort that they needed, even getting a cameo appearance from center Andrew Bogut. It’s these type of complete basketball games that the Warriors will need if they want to reach the post season. They still turned the ball over far too much (14 times), but it’s those points off turnovers that have hurt them the most.
Toronto had 22 of them Monday night, compared to the Raptors’ 14 turnovers that only lead to 12 points for the Warriors. It seems that every Warriors mistake leads to easy buckets, while the Warriors fail to capitalize on essentially gift-wrapped opportunities.
The W’s were also out-rebounded by a pesky Toronto frontcourt 47-38, including 19 offensive rebounds, even with the presence of Bogut. The Raptors youth and athleticism were on full display, making Bogut and David Lee look like foosball players.
But where the Warriors shine is from the field and beyond the arc. They shot 57.3 percent and 47.1 respectively, and that’s what sets them apart from their opposition.
David Lee finished with his usual double-double, scoring 29 points on 12-21 shooting with 11 rebounds. Steph Curry finished with 26 points on 8-16 shooting to go along with 12 assists, and Klay Thompson finished with 22 points on 8-11 shooting. All together six Warriors finished in double figures.
For the Raptors, Andrea Bargnani and Rudy Gay both scored 26 points, and Amir Johnson finished with 23 points and 15 boards. Toronto has a lot of promising young and talented players, it just seems that they haven’t quite figured out how to play together yet. The mid-season addition of Rudy Gay will be quite an upgrade for years to come.
Golden State continues it’s much needed homestand on Wednesday when they host the Sacramento Kings. They have had their struggles with the Kings this season, losing both previous meetings mainly because of center Demarcus Cousins. It is very likely that Andrew Bogut, who has not yet faced the Kings, could be the answer to Cousins.
It will be a matchup to keep an eye on, as it is a very important game for the Warriors. It’s up to the Warriors to do a bit of home cookin’.
You can follow Rich Peters on twitter @Tricky_Roma.