Curry played a game-high 44 minutes in his return to Toronto, a triumphant occasion that began with a warm applause during the pre-game introduction.
“I had a lot of great memories here watching my dad play,’’ he said. “I saw some familiar faces. It’s even the same atmosphere when I was here for three years.
“It was kind of surreal being on the court playing in a real game. I remember going up to the third floor and playing in the practice gym.
“Being back is cool.”
The only time the Raptors showed urgency was when they trailed by 16 points in the fourth quarter.
As well as the Warriors can shoot themselves into leads, they can easily cough one up.
Devastating can’t begin to describe the repercussions of Sunday’s setback.
With three tough games ahead within a four-day span, there’s a chance the Raptors can find themselves in ninth spot and out of the playoffs when the Chicago Bulls visit town next Sunday.
Suddenly, the Bulls’ appearance in Toronto looms as the game of the season.
“This one stings given the situation we’re in,’’ Bosh said in an eerily quiet dressing room.
Under no circumstance should the Raptors have lost to Golden State.
Bosh couldn’t be stopped, making 23 trips to the charity stripe and reaching the 40-point plateau for the first time since Jan. 20.
He should have had 60 had the Raptors been smarter.
After Bosh made two free throws with 2.9 seconds left, Weems stole an errant inbounds pass, made a quick pass under the basket to Bosh, who had a split second to win the game.
He got the ball on the rim but it didn’t go through and a miracle was denied.
"Sonny made a spectacular play; everything happened so fast, I really didn’t have time to react, I just wanted to get a shot up and I guess I missed it," said a distraught Bosh in the quiet of the locker room. "I didn’t really get a good look at how it came off. … It’s too quick, less than a second. I wish I could give you a breakdown but I can’t."
The magnitude of the loss will not be grasped until it’s seen how the Raptors regroup for a crucial week. Clinging now to a one-game lead over idle Chicago in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, Toronto faces Cleveland on Tuesday, Boston on Wednesday and Atlanta on Friday, a Murderers’ Row of foes.
The sting of losing at home to a Warriors team that’s now 23-53 and playing out the string – and losing because they couldn’t do the one thing they usually do well, which is score – may leave a scar.
"We’ve had some games where we’ve had some tough breaks but this one stings a little bit, just given our situation and how we need every game and to go down to the wire like that," said Bosh. "But that’s what I love about the game."
This time last year Toronto was putting together a 9-4 finish, which might have been good for morale but hurt their draft position. The Raptors picking ninth, took DeMar DeRozan, who is still very much a work-in-progress while the Warriors picking seventh, took Curry and have themselves a picture worth framing.
“He’s more athletic than you think,” said Warriors head coach Don Nelson. “But he does it the old fashioned-way. He uses his head and what skills he has to get it done.”
He loved coming to his father’s games during his three seasons in Toronto, but not necessarily to watch them.
“We just went up stairs, turned the radio on, kept shooting until we were dripping with sweat and then went down and watched the fourth quarter from behind the bench,” he said
Asked if he had any nostalgic pangs for the practice court, Curry said not at all. “I got the main floor now.”
He proved worth of the stage last night.
He drilled five triples but found his teammates too. This time next year it’s likely Bosh will be gone and it’s hard to imagine DeRozan will be playing at Curry’s level. And just in case you were wondering, he loves Toronto; occasionally visits and has a girlfriend from here too.
“I would have loved it [if I was drafted here],” Curry said. “I know the city, it wouldn’t have been that much an adjustment for me. The fans are always good out here, it would have been a great place to play.”
Toronto’s four contributing wing players shot 7-for-26 from the floor. The Raptors do not do the other things nearly well enough to win games in which they miss frequently. Not regularly, at least.
For the better part of the first 43 minutes against the Warriors, though, it was a brick-laying festival.
"This game taught us a valuable lesson that you’re never out of it until it’s over," Jack said. "It just shows that if we would have picked up that intensity that we played with 45 seconds earlier, a minute earlier, it wouldn’t have come down to us trying to make a heroic shot at the buzzer."
But is it not a bit late to be learning lessons?
"Without a doubt. Without a doubt. Without a doubt," Jack said. "We’re a young team."
That they are. And with a murderous stretch approaching, predicting what they will do now is near impossible.
"We’ll be fine," Jack said. "We’ll be fine."
You do not hear a chorus preaching with him, though.
I would like to ask our readers and Raptors fans what the deal is with this former #1 pick. From watching this game (and remember, Bargnani played against the undersized Warriors), this purported Dirk Nowitski-clone had several moments where he was more Shaquille O’Neal as he threw down one-handed dunks in the grills of almost every Warrior. At other moments, he seemed more Andray Blatche…and I mean that in a bad way if you know what I mean. You would think with Chris Bosh around, Bargnani would learn about how to use his size to his advantage. Bargnani probably could have gotten to the line 23 times the way the refs were calling it.
"What a game to tie the record with, huh? It was unbelievable," Nelson said. "It had about everything in it that you would want: from good to bad and from playing great to wetting the bed. We did about all of it."
The Warriors led by 16 points with 6:55 remaining, but Toronto closed the gap to 107-103 on a pair of Chris Bosh free throws with 2:10 left. Turiaf and Stephen Curry, who had missed two free throws in a game only once before in his rookie season, each missed back-to-back foul shots in the final minute, and the Raptors trimmed the deficit to 109-108 with 10.2 seconds left.
The Warriors and Raptors traded pairs of made free throws two times in the final 9.5 seconds, giving the Warriors a 113-112 lead with 2.9 seconds on the clock. Sonny Weems stole Turiaf’s inbounds pass and flung it behind his back to Bosh with 0.8 seconds remaining, but Turiaf raced back onto the court and caused Bosh to miss the potential game-tying layup.
"I did that on purpose so (Nelson) could appreciate this win even more," Turiaf joked. "When he thinks about it 10 years from now in his mansion in Maui, he’ll remember that it was a fun game.
"The man upstairs, the great architect, does everything for a reason. He made for a game that guarantees that (Nelson) will forever remember. He’ll remember the young guys out there fighting for him and doing what we could to get him the record."
Toronto’s ugly performance provided a good reminder of the key to beating this more-effort-than-talent Warriors’ squad — discipline. It’s the thing the Jazz and the Spurs have and the Knicks and the Raptors lack. Chris Bosh was able to score at will against the Warriors on nearly every attempt, but the team shockingly went away from him for a long stretch of the third quarter. At the other end, the Warriors were content to settle for jumpers all night long, but the Raptors made it even easier for them by leaving guys like Morrow and Tolliver largely unguarded. There’s a relentless focus to the way Sloan and Popovich attack Nelson’s system. They go to the same sets over and over again because they produce results. Teams with less discipline stumble on the Warriors’ weaknesses periodically, as the Raptors did during their biggest runs, but they don’t hammer away at our soft spots in the same way. The Raptors had the big men necessary to abuse the short-handed, under-sized Warriors, but they didn’t exploit them for 48 minutes. It ended up costing them the game.
The Raptors haven’t exactly been the best example of a consistent team, or dominant for that matter. They were the poster boys for teams that break down under the pressure and as much as we Toronto Raptors fans hate to hear it, it’s the absolute truth. There’s no denying the fact that our Raptors crack when the spotlight is pointing at them.
Well they have the spotlight on them one more time. The question they are being faced with is if they have what it takes to hold on and stop the bleeding before it’s to relate. The thing is, no one is really sure. The Raptors have plenty of talent on their team that they could definitely find themselves winning the games in the end, but they have not shown that quality as of late.
They are exactly at .500 at this point with a record of 38-38. Obviously Raptors fans want to see the first 38 increase rather than the second, Bulls fans obviously wanting the exact opposite. With only a few more games left in the NBA Regular Season it is the Raptors responsibility to their fans to get the job done and stop losing the games they know they can win.
That’s right, I said it. It’s their responsibility to the fans. Toronto is not exactly sports capital of the world. The Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, Toronto F.C., Argonauts, etc. are not exactly the epitome of success. The Raptors are the only shining light in this dark tunnel of Toronto teams and we don’t want the light to disappear.
Raptors came in off a game that never should have went to overtime. The extra work was going to make this one an even tougher task. Warriors have the awful record they do for a reason. Just 5-31 on the road this season heading into this game. However the Warriors do 2 things well….Run and shoot the 3 ball. The one thing the Raptors have struggled to do for the majority of the season is defend the 3 point shot. It is why the Warriors crushed the Raptors in Oakland and it would play a big factor in this game allowing the Warriors to build a lead. In total the Warriors would end the night 13 of 26 from behind the arc and the younger Curry making 5 of 11. He would end up having a big night as would Chris Bosh. However Curry had a lot of help and Bosh didn’t. Especially early as the Warriors blitzed the Raptors to take a 37-24 1st quarter lead.
I am way too emotional to post thoughts with the game. Suffice to say, this is a heartbreaker. When you look at the stats, the Raptors dominate many areas. They score over 40 points in the paint, outrebound the Warriors and go to the line so many times, I almost lost count. They played hard, their jumpers didn’t drop tonight, but they did battle and have a golden chance to win the game. The Warriors just couldn’t miss from 3 point line, sometimes you have to tip your hat to them. The Raptors D were horrible, but the Warriors did make some tough shots.
When I saw the layup popped out, I feel like someone punched me in the stomach. I was completely stunned and then I look at Bosh who was probably heartbroken as well. You feel for the man in some way. This is probably not the hardest lost I have seen, but probably top 5.
Jose Calderon. He was thoroughly outplayed by Stephon Curry, that was to be expected. But a -15 on the night? He was essentially useless. It took Triano too long to ride the Jarrett Jack train tonight. When you have two starting point gaurds it is hard to pick which one you want to go with and at what times. Triano made the right choice, eventually leaving Jack in to stay. Calderon had nothing going tonight.