The Toronto Raptors showed their offensive firepower on Sunday night, as they defeated the Golden State Warriors 133-118 at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The star of the night was RJ Barrett, who scored a career-high 37 points in his fourth game with his hometown team after being traded from the New York Knicks.
Barrett was unstoppable from the start, scoring 15 points in the first quarter on 6-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. He continued his hot streak in the second quarter, adding 12 more points to finish the first half with 27 points on 10-of-12 shooting. Barrett also had four rebounds, three assists, and two steals in the first half, as the Raptors led 67-58 at the break.
The 23-year-old shooting guard did not slow down in the second half, scoring 10 more points in the third quarter and helping the Raptors extend their lead to 20 points. He checked out of the game with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter, receiving a standing ovation from the Raptors fans in attendance. Barrett finished the game with 37 points on 14-of-18 shooting, including 6-of-8 from three-point range. He also had six rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 33 minutes of action.
Barrett’s 37 points were the most by a Raptors player this season, and the most by a Canadian-born player in NBA history. He also became the first player in Raptors history to score at least 30 points in three of his first four games with the team. Barrett’s performance earned him praise from his teammates and coaches, as well as the Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr, who called him “a fantastic player”.
Raptors’ balanced attack
Barrett was not the only Raptors player who had a big night, as the team shot 54.4 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from three-point range. Six Raptors players scored in double figures, including Scottie Barnes, who had 22 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Pascal Siakam added 19 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, while Fred VanVleet had 18 points and nine assists.
The Raptors also played solid defense, forcing 18 turnovers and scoring 26 points off them. They held the Warriors to 43.5 percent shooting and 31.6 percent from three-point range. The Raptors outscored the Warriors in every quarter, and led by as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter.
The Raptors improved to 14-21 with the win, while the Warriors dropped to 25-11 with the loss. The Raptors have won three of their last four games, while the Warriors have lost three of their last four games.
Warriors’ struggles continue
The Warriors entered the game as the best team in the Western Conference, but they looked out of sync and outmatched by the Raptors. The Warriors were missing two of their key players, as Klay Thompson and James Wiseman remained sidelined with injuries. The Warriors also had a rough night from their star duo, as Stephen Curry and Draymond Green combined for only 21 points on 7-of-24 shooting.
Curry, who is averaging 27.1 points per game this season, had one of his worst games of the year, scoring only 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting, including 2-of-9 from three-point range. He also had six turnovers and four fouls, and was a minus-23 in the plus-minus rating. Green, who is averaging 9.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 8.1 assists per game this season, had nine points, six rebounds, and five assists, but also had four turnovers and five fouls, and was a minus-24 in the plus-minus rating.
The Warriors’ bench also failed to provide much support, as they were outscored by the Raptors’ bench 38-28. The only bright spot for the Warriors was Jordan Poole, who had a team-high 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-7 from three-point range. Poole also had four rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes off the bench.
The Warriors will try to bounce back from their loss when they face the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, while the Raptors will look to continue their momentum when they face the Sacramento Kings on Monday.