The Warriors on New Year’s Day opened a seven-game homestand hoping to win at least four games. That mission was accomplished Sunday night.
Combining balanced scoring with spirited defense, particularly through the first three quarters, the Warriors fought off a furious late rally to escape with a 106-105 win over the Toronto Raptors at Chase Center.
Golden State improved to 4-2 on the homestand. One game remains, that coming against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
Step Curry scored only 11 points, on career-worst 2-of-16 shooting, but for most of the night his teammates did a nice job of exploiting openings created by his presence.
Seven Warriors scored in double figures, led by Andrew Wiggins’ 17 points, 15 of which came during the first three quarters when the Warriors seemingly were in command.
Here are three takeaways from a game that lifted the Warriors (6-4) to two games over .500 for the first time this season.
Here comes Draymond
Green, who missed all of training camp and the first four games of the season, approached a triple-double but settled for submitting a classic Draymond line: 10 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds -- all season highs.
Green also provided a bonus, draining two of the three 3-pointers he took, his first game this season with multiple triples.
For the Warriors to consistently compete, this is the Green they need. A dash of scoring and a smorgasbord of defense, rebounding and play-making.
Wiggins makes an impact ... again
Wiggins totaled 17 points, on 7-of-17 shooting, including 3-of-10 from deep, Sunday night. Furthermore, he added four assists and a career-high four blocks.
For a player with reputation for nonchalant defense, Wiggins has been effective on that end. For someone with a history of scoring inefficiency, he has been fabulous in the regard. If he’s out to remake himself, he is off to a tremendous start.
Warriors fans referring to the team’s reserves have used the term “Dubstitutes” for years, and the best versions materialized during the stretch when they appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals.
It’s a high standard, but the current group is making a bid to live up to it.
Brad Wanamaker, Mychal Mulder, Kent Bazemore, Damion Lee and Eric Paschall opened the second quarter trying to maintain a seven-point lead and needed fewer than six minutes to push it to 13. Mixing in Kevon Looney as well, they brought their usual hyperactivity, playing frenzied defense and generating turnovers, allowing the Warriors to take a 10-point lead at the half.
They weren’t as good in the fourth quarter, playing mostly against the Raptors' starters, but there’s no denying Golden State’s reserves have been better than expected.