One team will end a losing streak Sunday when the short-handed Golden State Warriors visit the Toronto Raptors.
The Warriors, who will be without Stephen Curry (partially dislocated left shoulder) for a few weeks, lost Friday to the host Philadelphia 76ers 118-106 for their third successive defeat.
The Warriors were also without Draymond Green (quadriceps) and Andrew Wiggins (thigh).
Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer Friday to give the visiting Brooklyn Nets a 119-116 victory over the Raptors, who lost their fourth straight.
The Raptors were without O.G. Anunoby (hip) for the third consecutive game and Gary Trent Jr. (quadriceps) was a late scratch.
The Warriors did get some good news when Wiggins was cleared to return to practice on Thursday. He was injured while scoring 36 points against the Houston Rockets on Dec. 3.
This is the first meeting of the season between the teams who met in 2019 NBA Finals, won by Toronto.
The Warriors, the reigning NBA champions, will be playing the fourth game of a six-game trip. The Raptors will complete a three-game homestand.
Golden State led 57-55 at halftime in Philadelphia but was outscored 33-24 in the third quarter.
“I liked the effort, I liked the ball movement,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I didn’t like the fouling. They shot 31 free throws to our 13, made 14 more than us and it was a 12-point game. There’s the game.”
Jordan Poole led Golden State with 29 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the field.
“Keep playing my game, try to lead these guys to a couple wins,” Poole said. “Really try to lock in and get into the rhythm while we’re on the road.”
“I thought (Poole) was much better in terms of staying poised,” Kerr said. “He did a better job (Friday) not getting frustrated emotionally.”
Klay Thompson had 12 points on 4-for-17 shooting from the field.
“It was a tough night for Klay,” ‘Kerr said. “Just his effort was there, but the shots were not going. Just wasn’t his night, but he will bounce back.”
The Raptors dropped to 10-5 at home after a second consecutive close loss. They lost 124-123 to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
Fred VanVleet scored 25 of his 39 points in the first half on Friday. He matched his season best in points set Wednesday.
Scottie Barnes scored 26 points and Pascal Siakam had 17 on Friday.
The Raptors led by 18 points late in the second quarter, but Brooklyn scored the final eight points of the first half.
“I wouldn’t say we made all the right plays, but we did make a lot of good plays, played really hard and really tough at both ends,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “Everybody who hit the floor contributed in some way. Came up a little short. Would have liked to execute better at the end on that defensive play and get it out of (Irving’s) hands.”
“Losing is not acceptable, obviously everything is circumstantial and situational but you just always keep a good perspective in terms of life,” VanVleet said. “Other than that, you just look at the tape and try to see where you can be better. We have got to keep pushing, we got another tough team (Golden State) coming in on Sunday and we’ve got our work cut out for us after that.”
–Field Level Media