Warriors

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Warriors

OAKLAND – For the second time in week, the Warriors will be out to avoid a blemish they’ve experienced only once in four seasons.

A victory over Toronto on Wednesday night would spare the Warriors from being swept by the Raptors in the regular season.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 o’clock with Warriors Outsiders, followed by Warriors Pregame. Tipoff at Oracle Arena is scheduled for 7:40.

The Warriors (19-9) lost to the Raptors 131-128 in overtime on Nov. 29 in Toronto. Eight days later, on Dec. 7, they went to Milwaukee and beat the Bucks, who by virtue of a win in Oakland on Nov. 8 were in position for a two-game sweep of the season series.

The only team to sweep the Warriors since Steve Kerr became coach in 2014 is Indiana, which won both meetings last season.

Defeating the Raptors (22-7) should be a bit easier if MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard doesn’t play. Though he missed the game against the Clippers on Tuesday with a bruised hip, there is a possibility he will return on Wednesday.

[RELATED: Andre Iguodala won't play vs. Raptors as Steve Kerr's plan comes too late]

The Raptors also have something at stake: A win over the Warriors would give them a four-game road sweep of the California teams for the first time in franchise history – and also snap a 13-game losing streak to the Warriors in Oakland.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F Kevin Durant
F Draymond Green
C Kevon Looney
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry

Raptors

F Kawhi Leonard (listed as questionable)
F Pascal Siakam
C Serge Ibaka
G Danny Green
G Kyle Lowry

INJURY REPORT

Warriors:C DeMarcus Cousins (L Achilles’ tendon surgery rehab) is on assignment with G League Santa Cruz. F Andre Iguodala (R hip tightness) and C Damian Jones (L pectoral surgery) are listed as out.

RaptorsLeonard (R hip bruise) is listed as questionable. G Norman Powell (L shoulder subluxation) is listed as out.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: Durant torched the Raptors in the first meeting, scoring a season-high 51 points on 18-of-31 shooting, including 4-of-7 from deep, despite frequently being defended by Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Curry did not play in that game, which is significant insofar as he averages 29.8 points per game against Toronto, his highest total against any opponent.

Losing Iguodala for a second consecutive game means more minutes for Alfonzo McKinnie, who was solid over 24 minutes Monday against Minnesota. The return of Green on Monday clearly boosted the tempo and helped result in the Warriors hoisting 93 field goals, their sixth-highest total this season and 10 more than the Timberwolves.

Raptors: One of deepest squads in the league will be hurt if Leonard isn’t cleared to play. In his absence on Tuesday, Danny Green was moved to SF and reserve PG Fred VanVleet was inserted into the starting lineup, with PG Kyle Lowry sliding to SG.

Lowry is struggling with his shot (43.2 percent FG, 33.1 percent 3p) but leads the NBA in assists, averaging 9.9 per game.

Leonard, Siakam and Ibaka combined for 83 points in the first meeting, including 30 in a sizzling opening quarter during which the Raptors shot 72.7 percent and led by as much as 18 points. Leonard’s 37 points were a season-high and Siakam’s 26 were a career high.

Big men Jonas Valanciunas and Ibaka combined for 32 points (12-18 FG) against some highly ineffective defense by Damian Jones. Ibaka scored 25 points in 24 minutes against the Clippers. Looney, with help from Jordan Bell, Jonas Jerebko and Durant, should make things more difficult for Ibaka and Valanciunas.