Warriors

Gameday: Steph Curry returns for Warriors vs Raptors in Toronto

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Gameday: Steph Curry returns for Warriors vs Raptors in Toronto

The Warriors have Stephen Curry back in the lineup Saturday, when they face the Toronto Raptors in a game that meets all the requirements of a shootout.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 3:30 p.m., with tipoff at Air Canada Centre scheduled for 4:35.

The Warriors (34-9) will be on second night of a back-to-back set, having prevailed against the Bucks on Friday night in Milwaukee. Curry was on the sideline for the second consecutive game but likely will play in one of his favorite arenas, having become familiar with it as child when he father, Dell, was a member of the Raptors.

The Raptors have never won more than 56 games (2015-16) but at 29-11 are on pace to win 59. They have been particularly tough at home, where their 15-2 record is the best in the Eastern Conference.

The Warriors lead the league in scoring (115.6 points per game), while Toronto is third (112.1).

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 4

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Klay Thompson vs. DeMar DeRozan: These two All-Stars are quite familiar with each other dating back to their days as teenagers in the Los Angeles area. Thompson is arguably best two-way shooting guard in the league, and DeRozan has become an offensive machine, averaging 25.0 points per game, trailing only Houston’s James Harden (who also grew up in LA) among shooting guards. They offset each other in the last meeting and if that happens again, it’s advantage Warriors.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Omri Casspi (back soreness) out.

Raptors: G Kyle Lowry (bruised tailbone) is listed as questionable.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2.

Raptors: 7-3.

GAME OFFICIALS

Tony Brothers, Courtney Kirkland, Gediminas Petraitis

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won the first of two meetings this season, 117-112, on Oct. 25 at Oracle Arena. The Warriors swept both games last season, have won seven in a row and 15 of the last 17 meetings.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE HOT ZONES: The Warriors have been terrific on the road, the Raptors fabulous at home. Toronto since Nov. 5 has lost only once at Air Canada Centre, by a single point to Miami on Jan 9, and responded with a 34-point rout of the Cavaliers. The Warriors are an NBA-best 18-3 on the road and have won 11 in a row, by an average of 11.5 points.

BALL SECURITY: The Warriors are a high-turnover team (15.8 per game). The Raptors commit fewer turnovers (13.5 per, fourth fewest in the league) and are good at forcing them and making opponents pay. Toronto is averaging a league-best 19.3 points per game off turnovers. If the Warriors are sloppy, it will cost them.

BENCH WARS: The Warriors and Raptors have the most effective benches in the league, ranking 1-2 in net rating. The Warriors are first in offensive rating (111.3), the Raptors (107.9) third. The Raptors are third in defensive rating (100.2), the Warriors (103.0) eighth. Toronto’s bench scored 76 points in its last game (vs. Cleveland). Center Jakob Poeltl and forward Pascal Siakam have been impactful.

Steve Kerr updates Jordan Bell's status

Steve Kerr updates Jordan Bell's status

Jordan Bell likely envisioned a longer debut at the United Center. 

The Chicago Bulls traded the pick used to select Bell to the Golden State Warriors for cash considerations, and Bell's taken plenty of chances to remind the Bulls to remind them of that fact. 

Instead of getting another chance to rub it in, Bell injured his left ankle 24 seconds in to Golden State's 119-112 win over Chicago on Wednesday. On Thursday, Bell and the Warriors learned the results of his MRI, and it's not as bad as the team first feared, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

"Well, it seemed a lot worse at the time when it happened. Everyone kind of thought he had a broken a bone just based on his reaction [and] what he was telling us," Steve Kerr told Damon Bruce on 95.7 The Game.  "But the MRI was pretty good this morning. Nothing glaring. 

"The X-ray was fine yesterday. So it doesn't appear to be more than a bone bruise but bone bruises can be tricky to heal, so we'll see what happens. But so far, the news has all been good."

Bell has emerged as a bench contributor in his first NBA season. In 38 games, he's averaging 5.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 14.4 minutes.

Two Warriors named All-Star Game starters

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Two Warriors named All-Star Game starters

After sending four players to the NBA All-Star Game last season in New Orleans, the Warriors are halfway to repeating the feat this season.

Point guard Stephen Curry and small forward Kevin Durant were voted in as Western Conference starters for the game scheduled for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the NBA announced on Thursday.

Though Curry has missed 15 games -- nearly one-third of the season -- it has not hurt his popularity; His No. 30 is the NBA’s best-selling jersey for the third straight season. He is averaging team-leading 27.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds, and 1.65 steals per game.

Curry is the first member of the Warriors to be named a starter for five consecutive All-Star games. As the player with the most fan votes, Curry becomes a captain and is in position to select the members of his team.

Durant, who has missed eight games this season, was named as a starter for the sixth time, the first four coming when he was a member of the Thunder.

Durant is averaging 26.2 points (fifth in the league) 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.05 blocks (fourth in the league) per game.