Warriors-Raptors Preview

The Golden State Warriors are off to their best start in five

years, but that success hasn’t yet extended outside the Bay

Area.

Perhaps a trip north of the border could be what they need.

The Warriors try again for their first road victory of the

season Monday night, when they look to defeat the Toronto Raptors

for the fourth consecutive time.

Golden State (4-2) has won four of its first six games for the

first time since 2005-06, but all four wins have come at home while

the club has dropped both of its road games. The Warriors, who

finished 8-33 away from home last season compared to a 21-20 mark

in Oakland, opened a five-game trip Sunday night with a 102-97 loss

at Detroit.

“We need to start to establish that identity on the road,” said

forward David Lee, who had 11 points and seven rebounds. “We need

to find a way and we just had too many careless mistakes. It seems

like each guy out on the floor tonight made one careless mistake or

so that led to an easy bucket by them or led to a missed

opportunity for us.

“We need to forget this one and go into Toronto and get a

victory.”

The Warriors appear to have a good chance to do just that.

They’ve defeated the Raptors three straight times and are 8-2 in

this series since the start of 2005-06, averaging a whopping 113.5

points in those 10 meetings. They won 113-112 in Toronto on April

4.

Lee, an offseason acquisition from New York, is averaging a

double-double (12.0 points, 11.3 rebounds) but has only achieved

that feat in the four victories – he’s failed to get a

double-double in the road defeats. He and Andris Biedrins (10.2

rpg) are major reasons why the Warriors are averaging 46.5 rebounds

per game – up sharply from their 38.4 mark in 2009-10.

Golden State has outrebounded its opponent in each home game,

but has yet to do so on the road.

Monta Ellis, averaging a league-leading 27.8 points, had 24 in

the loss to the Pistons but went 0-for-5 from 3-point range. He

tied a career high with five 3-pointers against the Raptors in the

Warriors’ 124-112 home win March 13.

While the Warriors are seeking to break into the win column on

the road, Toronto should be looking forward to getting back home

after a winless four-game trip.

The Raptors (1-5) shot a season-low 36.8 percent in their 97-84

loss to Portland on Saturday night, dropping to 0-4 on the road for

the sixth time in their 16-year history.

“Get to the free throw line. Let’s go somewhere where we can

find ways to score, put them in foul trouble and get some of their

guys out,” coach Jay Triano said. “Go to the bench and look for a

better combination.

“Move the ball, keep taking the shots, and you hope that you’re

not going to keep having nights like tonight where we missed a

lot.”

Second-year pro DeMar DeRozan, who was averaging 15.6 points

before scoring two on 1-for-10 shooting against the Trail Blazers,

remains confident despite the Raptors’ poor start.

“Every game we go out and we do something extremely well,” he

said. “At the end of the day we just need to put it all together.

This hard work is going to pay off for us.”