Raptors-Warriors Preview

Coming off a much-needed win, the Golden State Warriors are

hoping they’ve put their recent struggles behind them.

A visit from the Toronto Raptors could help them take another

step in the right direction.

The Warriors look to continue their recent success against the

Raptors, who try to avoid a season-worst fourth consecutive defeat

Tuesday night.

Golden State (10-8) had lost five of six before bouncing back

with Sunday’s 115-113 win at Sacramento. Stephen Curry made a pair

of free throws with 8.6 seconds left and Andrew Bogut blocked a

potential game-tying layup in the closing moments.

The Warriors had dropped their previous two games by a combined

five points, including Friday’s last-second 113-112 overtime loss

at Oklahoma City.

“It’s been frustrating of late, not being able to close out

games,” said Curry, who finished with 36 points and 10 assists.

“Everyone pitched in. It was a good learning lesson for us to

continue to stick to the program.”

Fellow guard Klay Thompson also came up big with 28 points while

making a career-high eight 3-pointers. Thompson and Curry each

recorded three steals as Golden State scored 33 points off a season

high-tying 24 forced turnovers.

“I have a great backcourt with two guys that can light up a

scoreboard,” coach Mark Jackson said. “The thing that I love most

about them is people fall in love with shooting, which is the

obvious, but they compete. They have really developed into a good

defensive tandem. I thought both guys did an outstanding job on the

defensive end.”

The Warriors will try to clamp down again versus the Raptors

(6-10), who have averaged 93.7 points on 40.8 percent shooting

during a three-game skid.

Rudy Gay had 23 points and nine rebounds while Jonas Valanciunas

posted 18 and 11 in a 112-98 loss to Denver on Sunday. Toronto went

up by as many as 15 in the first quarter but was outplayed down the

stretch.

“Personally, I’m frustrated. Period. We’ve just got to figure it

out and turn it around on the road,” said guard DeMar DeRozan,

whose team opens a three-game trip Tuesday. “It’s correctable but

we shouldn’t have to keep doing the same thing over and over before

we realize that we are doing something wrong. We have to understand

what we’re doing out the gate.”

The Raptors, who were outscored 50-38 in the paint and 18-7 in

transition, have dropped nine of their last 10 when posting 11

fastbreak points or fewer. Toronto’s bench was also outscored

72-16.

“Our bench has got to give us something. Our guys (starters)

can’t play for 48 (minutes),” coach Dwane Casey said. “The guys

coming in have got to develop a toughness, a resilience of getting

stops. And, it starts on the defensive end.”

The Raptors dropped to 1-8 when allowing at least 92 points.

That doesn’t bode well for a team that’s surrendered 113.1 per game

during a 3-12 stretch against Golden State.

Toronto will need to keep a close eye on Thompson, who averaged

20.5 points while going 7 of 12 from beyond the arc as the Warriors

swept last season’s series. Thompson leads the NBA with 62 made 3s,

and Golden State is 9-2 when he hits at least three.

“I let it fly,” he said. “That’s how I got to play – just let it

fly and not think about it.”

The Warriors, expected to be without Andre Iguodala (hamstring)

for a sixth consecutive game, have won 12 of 16 at home against

Eastern Conference foes since the start of 2012-13.