What we learned as Wiggs, Poole fuel Warriors' win vs. Raptors


SAN FRANCISCO -- In their first game back at Chase Center after a four-game road trip, the Warriors picked up right where they left off, beating the Toronto Raptors 119-104 on Sunday night.

Steph Curry struggled, scoring just 12 points, but you never would've guessed, based on how dominant the Warriors (15-2) were all night and how many three-pointers they hit (22).

And it was less about their depth stepping it up -- Chris Chiozza (11 points ) and Otto Porter Jr. (15) were the only players off the bench to score in double figures -- but more about the other starters taking the reins.

Here are three takeaways from the game, on three of the Golden State starters who took control:

Wiggins as Mr. Consistent 2.0

Last season, I continuously called Andrew Wiggins Mr. Consistent because you could count on him to chip in 15 to 20 points each and every night.

Well, he's been at the same level of consistency this season but taken it up a notch over the last seven games. He's assumed more of the responsibility to score, and against the Raptors (8-10), he finished with 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists and one block.

Ever since the Nov. 10 game against Minnesota, Wiggins has played with a higher level of aggression and tenacity, attacking the rim as much as possible instead of settling for jump shots.

Of course, Wiggins still can shoot the ball -- he went 6 of 8 from deep against the Raptors. But he's not forcing it. His shot came to him Sunday.

Another Poole party

Jordan Poole for Most Improved Player?


He's certainly making a case for it early in the season -- as much as Curry is making one for MVP. 

Sure, Poole has endured a few up-and-down moments, but recently, there have been far more ups. On Sunday, he put up 33 points on 10-of 13 shooting. It was his second consecutive game scoring at least 30 points, the first time he's done so in his NBA career.

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While Poole has shown off more of his ability to attack the hoop -- which is one of his best, most lethal skills -- Sunday's game was a display of his shooting. Poole knocked down a career-high eight 3-pointers. 

Looney starring in his role

Kevon Looney has put together a strong start to his season through the Warriors' first 17 games, and Sunday's game was no exception.

Looney finished with seven points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks in 26 minutes, good for a plus-25 net rating -- a stat line that perfectly encapsulates starring in one's role.

As the Warriors' only true center available right now, Looney has carried the weight of battling against opponents' bigs. He's also been instrumental in making the Warriors the league's second-best rebounding team (they average 47.6 boards per game).

Sunday's 10 boards from Looney marked his fourth double-digit rebounding game of the season, and second in a row.

Looney left the game in the third quarter, and while he returned to the bench, he never came back in the game. But his presence early on set the tone for Golden State.