Raptors look to beat champion Warriors in Oakland

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The Toronto Raptors have and early mammoth task Thursday when they travel to Oakland, California to take on the defending champions Golden State Warriors.

The Raptors tipped off the regular season with two home wins against the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers, but are fresh off a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

The Warriors on the other hand are coming off three almost back-to-back games that included a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies and wins against the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks.

Golden State have gone unbeaten in the last three season series against the Raptors with a 6-0 record. Toronto has lost 12 games in Oakland since 2004.

When the two teams met last season, the Warriors won both their matchups 127-121 and 121-111 respectively. Both teams have great backcourts and run very efficient offensive games. Surprisingly, the Raptors’ backcourt had better showing on both occasions.

On their first meeting, which was won by the Warriors, Toronto guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 58 points, compared to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who tallied 50 for Golden State as a duo. However forward Kevin Durant helped the Warriors secure the win by putting up 30 points on the night.

On their second meeting in December, the duo from the north combined for another 58 points and the boys from the Bay Area only managed 49 points, but Durant came to the rescue again with 22 points and dashed all hopes of a Raptors win.

In Monday night’s loss to the Spurs, DeRozan had 28 points, but Lowry had a very slow night with only eight points, and the fact that the team was playing without starting center Jonas Valanciunas, who was out due to injury, did not help matters at all.

Without their big man, the Raptors were beaten on the boards on both ends and allowed the Spurs to grab 18 offensive rebounds, which they used to tally up their points in the paint.

The Warriors were great Monday night at Dallas and were led by Stephen Curry with 29 points, who shot 100% from the charity stripe (13-13). He was closely followed by Durant who managed 25 points to go with his eight rebounds and six assists.

All things considered, the Raptors have a huge task on their hands if they hope to beat the Warriors at the Oracle Arena. Not only do they have a comparatively weaker squad, but they are also on the road.

 

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