Steph Curry Return After Long Injury For Warriors in Loss to Raptors

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry appeared each bit himself after a four-month layoff, save for a little bit long-range rust.

“He looks exactly the same to me,” coach Steve Kerr stated.

Curry scored 23 factors for Golden State in his anticipated return from a damaged left hand, however the Toronto Raptors beat the Warriors 121-113 Thursday night time to clinch a playoff spot.

After being sidelined 58 video games, Curry led Golden State out of the tunnel to a big ovation — as loud as his neon sneakers, one pink and one yellow — and the gang stirred each time he pulled up to shoot.

He missed his first two makes an attempt however had three fast assists, together with a no-look, behind-the-back dish to Andrew Wiggins. He completed with seven assists and 7 rebounds in 27 minutes.

The two-time MVP hit a 17-footer for his first basket early in the second quarter, then bought an enormous response for a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc shortly earlier than halftime. He was 3-of-12 from 3-point vary and 6-of-16 general for the sport, the one blemish on an in any other case encouraging night time for the three-time champion.

“It feels like the first day of school pretty much all over again,” the 31-year-old Curry stated after shootaround. “It’s kind of just getting back to enjoying playing basketball at the highest level. There’s a process to that.”

Norman Powell scored a career-high 37 factors for Toronto, which received in a rematch of final 12 months’s NBA Finals. The Raptors received that collection in six video games, ending with a victory in Golden State’s remaining recreation at its previous area in Oakland.

Kyle Lowry added 26 factors and 10 assists, Serge Ibaka had 13 factors and 13 rebounds, and Pascal Siakam had 17 factors for the Raptors, who received at Phoenix on Tuesday night time to finish a three-game shedding streak.

“Knowing that Steph was coming back, we knew it was going to be a great night, a great atmosphere,” Lowry stated. “One of the best players in the league was coming back from injury, we were a little more focused and concentrated on him, but coming in here, it’s a great regular-season game.”

Damion Lee scored 23 factors and Marquese Chriss had 17 factors and 12 rebound for the Warriors, who’ve misplaced 10 straight at residence.

Golden State trailed 62-55 at halftime however took an 85-83 lead in the third on Eric Paschall’s 3-pointer — with Curry on the bench, no much less.

After Toronto regained the lead, Paschall tied it at 95 on a free throw with 9:39 left in the fourth quarter, however the Raptors countered with 5 straight factors. A 3-pointer by Lowry and a strong dunk from Anunoby helped Toronto stretch the lead moments later.

Curry checked again in with 3:51 left and hit a falling layup with two minutes remaining that pulled the Warriors inside 113-108. Wiggins added a 3-pointer to make it 113-111, however Siakam made two baskets in 15 seconds to preserve Toronto’s lead protected.

“I think that it was a high energy building tonight and they were playing well,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse stated. “I expected it to be a really close game tonight and there were no illusions in my mind that it wouldn’t be.”

Lee stole the ball from Powell with 25.Eight seconds remaining and was fouled by Powell. But he missed each free throws after which two 3-point tries after consecutive offensive rebounds.

THROUGH THE WOODS: Curry practiced Monday with the G League Santa Cruz Warriors, then was recalled later in the day in a most anticipated promotion. His return to motion got here with out most of his acquainted supporting solid — Draymond Green missed his fourth straight recreation with a left knee damage, and Klay Thompson stays out with a torn left ACL.

“To me, it feels like it’s on again,” Kerr stated. “We’re now through the woods, as I said before the game, and we can start looking ahead and using these games to prepare ourselves to try to reach a higher level of play.”

TIP-INS: Raptors — Toronto had misplaced 13 of its final 14 on the Warriors’ residence courtroom. … The Raptors are 8-Three on the highway vs. the Western Conference. … The Raptors are the one opponent that swept the season collection from the Warriors final season.

Warriors — Golden State hasn’t received at residence since beating Orlando 109-95 on Jan. 18. They 7-25 at residence general and 2-9 in opposition to the Eastern Conference.

UP NEXT: The Raptors go to the Kings on Sunday night time. The Warriors host the 76ers on Saturday night time having misplaced 115-104 at Philadelphia on Jan. 28.