LOS ANGELES, Jan 14 — Klay Thompson delivered 26 points and Kevin Durant tallied 25 as the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors held on to defeat the Raptors 127-125 in Toronto yesterday.
The Warriors recorded their league-best 19th road win of the season as they won the battle against a Raptors team lying second in the Eastern Conference.
They didn’t make it easy, however, blowing a 27-point halftime lead before hanging on for the victory.
DeMar DeRozan helped spark Toronto’s rally with a 42-point performance for the Raptors, who lost to Golden State for an eighth straight time.
Two-time league MVP Stephen Curry scored 24 points for the Warriors after missing the last two games with an ankle injury.
Durant came up with some clutch baskets down the stretch to secure the win.
DeRozan’s layup moved Toronto to within 121-119 with just over two minutes left, but Durant countered to give the Warriors a four-point lead. DeRozan responded, cutting the Raptors’ deficit to 123-122 with 63 seconds remaining.
After Curry surprisingly missed two free throws with 45 seconds left, Durant’s basket with 21 seconds remaining made it 125-122. Curry then made amends by making two free throws with two seconds left.
Toronto’s Fred VanVleet nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to round out the scoring.
After the game, Curry praised the Raptors for the way they fought back.
“They played amazing in the second half. You knew in this building they would make a run. I didn’t think it would be that big,” said Curry.
All the Raptors coaching staff and players wanted to talk about after the game was perceived poor officiating.
A frustrated DeRozan said it seemed like all three officials were against them.
“Being out there it felt like we played five on eight,” he said. “Some of those calls was terrible, period.”
Raptors coach Dwane Casey added: “There were some tough calls in the second half. It is mind boggling when you ask the officials, ‘Did you see it?’ ‘No I didn’t see it.’ ‘Wasn’t my call.’ I have got to have an explanation.”
Elsewhere, Zach LaVine scored 14 points in his first game in 11 months, rookie Lauri Markkanen added 19 points and the host Chicago Bulls edged the Detroit Pistons 107-105.
Chicago made 17 three-pointers to win for the 13th time in its last 20 games.
In Washington, John Wall scored 23 points and added 16 assists as the Washington Wizards beat the Brooklyn Nets 119-113 in overtime.
Bradley Beal added 24 points and Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards, who needed their first overtime victory of the season to avoid being swept by the Nets in the season series. — AFP