The Golden State Warriors made it an even dozen Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.
Stephen Curry had 37 points and nine assists, Klay Thompson added 19 points and the NBA champions made it 12 straight wins to open the season with a 115-110 victory over the Toronto Raptors. The Warriors own a three-game lead over the Spurs in the Western Conference and a five-game advantage over both the Suns and the Clippers in the Pacific Division.
Golden State hosted the first of its five Hardwood Classics Nights. The Warriors wore “The City” jerseys that were originally released during the 1966-67 NBA season. The team’s original center court logo returned as well. Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that Curry wore short shorts for the occasion.
Not many teams in the NBA can match the scoring output from the Warriors’ starting backcourt. The Raptors came close with their two All-Stars. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry finished with 28 points apiece. The duo combined to shoot 16-of-37 from the floor and converted 22-of-25 free throws. Free-agent acquisition DeMarre Carroll added 17 points and six steals.
After winning the opening five games, Toronto (7-5) has lost five of seven. The Raptors felled to percentage points behind the Celtics for first place in the Atlantic Division.
The teams played even for the first 18 minutes. Then the Warriors used one of those demoralizing run they are known for to take command of the game. Golden State closed the first half on a 24-12 run, including 12 straight points in a span of 2:16, to take a 63-47 lead at halftime. The Splash Brothers accounted for all 24 points during the 6:18 stretch.
The Raptors came into the game ranked first in free throws made per game (23.3) and second in free throws attempted (29.2). They lived up to the billing by going to the charity stripe a whopping 29 times in the second half and that got them back into the game.
Lowry made two free throws with 5:54 remaining in the game to give Toronto its first lead since late in the first quarter. The Raptors could not hold on as Draymond Green drove the length of the court and found Andrew Bogut for an alley-oop. Curry followed with a splash and Green capped off the quick 7-0 run with a floater in the lane.
The Raptors weren’t done yet and cut the deficit to one with 38.7 seconds left on a drive by DeRozan. Lowry blocked Curry on the ensuing possession and Toronto got the ball back with 25.9 seconds left. But the Raptors lost possession when Lowry was whistled for an illegal screen. Curry was fouled and made two free throws for a 3-point lead. Lowry then tried for a quick score, but his jumper in the paint was blocked by Green. Green sealed the game with two free throws.
Green started despite having the flu and finished with nine points, nine rebounds and five assists. Bogut returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the season opener and had a season-high 13 points and six rebounds. Festus Ezeli came off the bench with eight points, six rebounds, four blocks and two steals. Ezeli recorded a team-high +12 in the plus/minus. Andre Iguodala added a season-high seven assists.
The Warriors shot 53.8 percent from the floor and had 31 assists on 43 field goals. The Raptors shot 46.8 percent and converted 30 of 39 free throws. Both teams committed 20 turnovers.
Leandro Barbosa and Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton picked up back-to-back technical fouls with 9:15 left in the game. It was the first coaching tech for Walton.
Injuries: Shaun Livingston missed his first game of the season with a strained left hip flexor. Barbosa returned after missing two games to handle a family matter in Brazil. Thompson returned after missing a game with back stiffness.
Notes: The Warriors are the first team since 2002-03 Mavericks and seventh overall to start a season 12-0. They also extended their franchise-record home win streak to 25. Per ESPN, Curry’s 404 points through the first 12 games are the most since Kobe Bryant in the 2005-06 season. The Warriors have not lost at home to Toronto since Feb. 8, 2004.
On the road to 73:
2015-16 Golden State Warriors 12-0
1995-96 Chicago Bulls 10-2