Warriors

Wiggins 'trying to make a statement' with improved defense

Warriors

Andrew Wiggins stepped up on both ends of the court in the Warriors' 106-105 win over his hometown Toronto Raptors on Sunday night at Chase Center.

On a night Steph Curry struggled with his shot, Wiggins led the Warriors with 17 points. Wiggins also matched his career-high four blocks, forcing reigning Second Team All-NBA forward Pascal Siakam into a difficult turnaround jumper on Toronto's final possession.

"We had a good first three quarters," Wiggins told Warriors TV broadcasters Bob Fitzgerald and Kelenna Azubuike. "The fourth quarter was a little rough. We pulled it out. It was an ugly win, but we got it done."

Wiggins finished the night minus-8 after playing every minute of the fourth quarter, when the Raptors fell just shy of mounting a comeback reminiscent of the Warriors' on Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers. The 25-year-old played largely stout defense through the first three quarters, recording all four of his blocks through the first 36 minutes.

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Kawhi Leonard could empathize with what Siakam, his former teammate, faced on the last possession Sunday night. Wiggins kept the 2019 Finals MVP in his pocket in two games against the Clippers last week, going a long way toward the 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick's goal of of rebuilding his defensive reputation.

"I'm just trying to make a statement," Wiggins told Fitzgerald and Azubuike. "Trying to change that narrative, come out here and work hard and do what I've gotta do to win."

 

Wiggins' slow start through the first two games of the season is well and truly behind him. He's averaging 18.8 points per game over his last eight, shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

The Warriors also are 6-2 during that stretch, providing early proof to the notion that the team will go as Wiggins does this season.

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